FIFA tribunal calls Ronaldo’s pen choice “brilliant”
FIFA’s expert World Cup assessors called Cristiano Ronaldo’s disputed penalty for Portugal’s 3-2 triumph against Ghana “brilliant.”
Ronaldo became the first male player to score at five World Cups after scoring a penalty he earned when hauled down by Ghana’s Mohammed Salisu. Ghana coach Otto Addo called it a “wonderful gift” for Portugal.
FIFA’s Technical Study Group (TSG) warned this World Cup might set a record for penalties and complimented Ronaldo’s penalty.
Faryd Mondragon, a former Colombian goalkeeper and TSG panellist, wondered, “Are attackers growing smarter?”
People may say what they want about Ronaldo, but the smartness and ingenuity to wait for that split second to touch the ball first before you and continue my leg so that your contact would strike my leg is “absolute brilliance.”
In the first 16 games, nine penalties have been given, putting this World Cup on course for a record 36 in 64 games. In 2018, when referees first received video reviews, they gave 29.
The research committee noted there have been more and better crosses, with 14 goals from wide areas through 16 games compared to 2018 at the same time.
During that time, there were 41 goals, or 2.56 per game, compared to 2.67 across 64 games.
Four games without goals may be explained by clubs’ prudence to avoid losing their first game, the organisation stated.
Alberto Zaccheroni, who coached Japan at the 2014 World Cup, says teams would get bolder as the tournament develops.
Zaccheroni said teams who pressed opponents deep in their own half gained possession in hazardous places and avoided pursuing back toward their own goal.
England, Spain, Germany, and Argentina were most adept in “counter-pressing”
Zaccheroni suggested coaches with five replacements could maintain their teams’ “extremely strenuous” intensity up for the whole game.
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