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The Definitive Angle: NWSL Week 19

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

Week 19 overview
There were four Video Reviews during Week 19.


NJY vs ORL: Review for goal (handball) – not given


What happened: A goal was scored by Haley McCutcheon (ORL) and awarded by the on-field officials.

The goal occurred after a clearance from Ellie Jean (NJY) was deflected into the net by McCutcheon.

The VAR determined that the last touch before the ball went into the goal came from McCutcheon’s left arm. After Video Review, the goal was disallowed for attacker handball.

On-field decision: Goal.
Type of review: No goal – attacker handball.
Final decision after review: No goal.
Length of review: 2:35.

PRO’s opinion: Despite being an accidental contact, the goal was correctly disallowed because this is a clear ‘attacker handball’ per the Laws of the Game. This was a good use of the Video Review system to rectify a clear and obvious error.


KC vs RGN: Review for penalty kick (foul challenge) – not given


What happened: The ball was crossed into the penalty area from the right-hand side. Michelle Cooper (KC) pushed Jordyn Huitema (RGN) with both hands inside the penalty area, and Huitema went to ground. The referee did not see the contact and allowed play to continue.

The VAR saw the contact as a clear pushing offense and recommended an on-field review. After Video Review, the referee awarded a penalty kick.

On-field decision: Play on.
Type of review: Penalty kick.
Final decision after review: Penalty.
Length of review: 3:04.

PRO’s opinion: There was a pushing foul by Cooper. The referee was correct in punishing the offense.


POR vs NC: Review for penalty kick (in or out) – given


What happened: Kelli Hubly (POR) challenged Victoria Pickett (NC) for a ball on the edge of the penalty area, and Pickett went to ground. The referee awarded a penalty kick to North Carolina Courage.

The VAR determined that the tripping offense occurred outside the penalty area and recommended an on-field review for no penalty. Since the foul occurred outside the penalty area the referee had to determine if it was also a DOGSO red card.

After Video Review, the referee rescinded the penalty kick and issued a red card to Hubly.

On-field decision: Penalty kick.
Type of review: Direct free kick.
Final decision after review: Direct free kick and red card (DOGSO).
Length of review: 2:46.

PRO’s opinion: This was a good use of the Video Review system to overturn a clear and obvious error. Because the correct point of contact was outside the penalty area, the foul had also denied an obvious goal-scoring opportunity.


POR vs NC: Review for goal (boundary) – not given


What happened: A direct free kick by Tyler Lussi (NC) struck the underside of the crossbar, bounced down, hit the ground, and rebounded back into the field of play. Neither the referee nor the AR saw whether the ball had clearly crossed the goal line from their position and play continued.

The VAR quickly established that the ball had crossed the line and recommended an on-field review. After Video Review, the goal was awarded.

On-field decision: Play on.
Type of review: Goal.
Final decision after review: Goal.
Length of review: 0:59.

PRO’s opinion: This was an efficient and effective use of the Video Review system to confirm the ball had crossed the goal line and award the goal.



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