Japan’s second goal against Spain, scored by Ao Tanaka, was controversially allowed to stand after a lengthy VAR check. It has brought up so much confusion and questions since it was given. Here is why the goal was allowed.
Tanaka slotted home past Unai Simon following Kaoru Mitoma’s cross but the ball appeared to be out of play. After a lengthy VAR check, referee Victor Gomes was eventually instructed to award the goal which held up as the winner in a 2-1 victory for Japan.
Germany, who competed in the other Group E match, will be furious as the incident helped Japan to finish ahead of them. It was difficult to determine how exactly VAR reached the conclusion that the goal should be allowed, though alternative angles unseen by TV viewers may have led to the decision that the whole ball wasn’t over the line, and that part of it was actually overhanging the line. Still, the images splashed across social media appear to tell a different story and it’s certainly one of the most controversial decisions of the World Cup so far.
The go-ahead goal set up a win that advanced Japan to the knockout stage, with Spain also moving forward and Germany and Costa Rica crashing out.