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The Definitive Angle: NWSL Week 6

The Definitive Angle is PRO’s analysis of the week’s Video Review use in NWSL.

Week 6 overview
There were two Video Reviews during Week 6 – both in the NWSL Challenge Cup.

NC vs NJY (NWSL Challenge Cup): Review for red card (DOGSO) – given

What Happened: Goalkeeper Michelle Betos (NJY) challenged Brittany Ratcliffe (NC) for the ball just outside the penalty area and brought the attacker down. The referee identified a tripping offense and issued a red card to Betos for DOGSO.

The VAR analyzed the available angles, determined that Betos played the ball in a fair manner, and recommended an on-field review. After Video Review, the referee rescinded the red card and restarted with a drop ball to NJ/NY Gotham.

On-field decision: Red card – DOGSO.
Type of review: No red card.
Final decision after review: Drop ball.
Length of review: 2:50.

PRO’s Opinion: This is a subjective decision. Although the keeper makes a slight touch on the ball this does not negate committing an offense. In addition, there is a consideration for a handling offense because of the secondary action from the open left palm to redirect the ball, which would be determined as denial of a goal-scoring opportunity because the attacker would have the chance to shoot on an open net.

This is one of those instances where the decision on the field is too subjective and is not a clear error. Although there are elements to support the final decision, the high line of intervention that PRO wants to maintain was not reached, and the review should not have been recommended.

NC vs NJY (NWSL Challenge Cup): Review for goal (handball) – given

What Happened: The referee awarded a penalty kick to North Carolina when he judged that Ellie Jean’s (NJY) left arm connected with a cross into the penalty area. The referee believed that the arm was away from the player’s silhouette, and that created a barrier.

When the VAR checked the footage of the incident, he felt that Jean’s arm was tucked in when the ball hit it and he recommended a Video Review.

After Video Review, the referee maintained his original decision to award a penalty.

On-field decision: Penalty kick.
Type of review: No penalty.
Final decision after review: No change.
Length of review: 3:25.

PRO’s Opinion: The referee retained his decision which was within his rights. The ball strikes the left arm when it was close to the body and only appeared to move away after the ball had made contact. PRO would prefer no penalty since the ball was unexpected, and the left arm was inside the player’s silhouette.

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