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The Definitive Angle: NWSL Challenge Cup semifinals

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

NWSL Challenge Cup semifinal overview
There were two Video Reviews during the NWSL Challenge Cup semifinals.

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

What happened: Denise O’Sullivan (NC) challenged Debinha (KC) for the ball inside the penalty area, and Debinha went to ground. The referee did not identify an offense in real-time and allowed play to continue.

The VAR analyzed the available angles and interpreted that O’Sullivan had committed a foul by making with Debinha’s thigh without playing the ball, which was a foul challenge. An on-field review was recommended, and after Video Review, the referee maintained her decision not to award a penalty.

On-field decision: Play on.
Type of review: Penalty kick.
Final decision after review: No change.
Length of review: 2:49.

PRO’s opinion: After taking a touch away from the path of O’Sullivan, Debinha created the contact and went to ground. The referee was in an excellent position to see this in real-time and correctly chose to stay with her original decision. The recommendation for review was unnecessary.

RGN vs LOU: Review for penalty kick (in or out) – given

What happened: Thembi Kgatlana (LOU) challenged Sofia Huerta (RGN) for the ball as the attacker approached the top of the penalty area, and Huerta went to ground. The referee awarded a penalty kick.

The VAR saw that when Kgatlana tripped Huerta, most of the attacker’s body was inside the penalty area. However, the contact that caused the trip occurred outside the penalty area. The referee rescinded the penalty kick decision and instead awarded a direct free kick outside the area and issued a yellow card to Kgatlana for stopping a promising attack.

On-field decision: Penalty kick.
Type of review: No penalty.
Final decision after review: Direct free kick and yellow card for stopping a promising attack.
Length of review: 2:43.

PRO’s opinion: All the contact was clearly outside the penalty area. This was a good use of the Video Review system to rectify a clear and obvious error.

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