Uruguay Coach Says Inaccurate Penalty Call Led to World Cup Exit


An Uruguay 2-0 win against Ghana on Friday wasn’t enough for the team to advance to the World Cup knockout stage and the Sky Blue’s coach Diego Alonso is citing an officiating error in a previous Group game H vs. Portugal as the reason.

“We are out because of Portugal’s penalty and goal difference,” said Alonso, through a FIFA translator. “It’s not the point [from a 0-0 draw against South Korea], rather to the contrary. We are not out because of that point. It’s because of the penalty that was awarded in extra time that, according to FIFA, was not a penalty.”

At the time, Portugal was leading 1-0 and in the 89th minute, the ball grazed Uruguay’s defender Jose Maria Gimenez’s hand in the penalty box.

The call originally did not constitute a penalty but referee Alireza Faghani was advised to consult VAR, resulting in a 2-0 lead for Portgular when midfielder Bruno Fernandes converted the penalty kick.

After Uruguay’s win against Ghana on Friday, the Sky Blue players angrily followed game officials into the tunnel where they were seen yelling and pushing them.

In the other Group H showdown, South Korea defeated Portugal 2-1 after a stoppage-time goal and the Asian nation jumped to second place in Group H due to a tiebreaker.

South Korea and Uruguay both had four points with an even goal difference, but Korea scored four goals in the tournament compared to Uruguay’s two.

“I would have liked to see this version of Uruguay before but this is what happened,” Alonso went on. “I don’t have anything to say to my players: they broke their backs and gave their best selves. Everyone can see what happened in previous match.”

Uruguay midfielder Giorgian de Arrascaeta scored back-to-back goals in the win, giving the Sky Blue their only two scores of the 2022 World Cup.

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