The first goal by Ecuador in the opening game of the FIFA World Cup against Qatar in the third minute was ruled out after a VAR check, leaving Ecuador fans bamboozled by the decision.
Enner Valencia, receiving the ball off a kick by Felix Torres, headed it into the net to the jubilation of thousands of Ecuadorian fans at the Al Bayt Stadium in Qatar.
But after consulting the video assistant referees, the goal was ruled out as off-side.
Why was Ecuador goal disallowed?
The offside rule states that if the goalkeeper is the second-last opponent and you are behind him, you will be deemed as offside.
However, if there are two players behind the goalkeeper, as seen in this instance, you will only be offside if you are ahead of the second-last opponent. In Ecuador’s case, Michael Estrada (No. 11) was seen ahead of the the line of goalkeeper Saad Al Sheeb and the next Qatar player Abdelkarim Hasan Fadlalla.
After a check using VAR and the Semi-automatic offside technology, the goal was ruled out as Estrada was seen influencing with the follow of play from the free-kick.
As a result, the goal was ruled out.
Has such a case happened before, in a high-voltage match?
Yes. A similar incident was seen in the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool, when Karim Benzema’s opening goal was ruled out off-side.
In the 43rd minute, Benzema slotted the ball into the net after a defensive scramble in the Liverpool box but the Frenchman’s celebrations were cut short when the assistant raised his flag.