The Argentina Penalty in WC Semi-Final has Left Neville, Wright, and Keane Speechless

The Semi-Final Argentina Penalty has left Neville, Wright, and Keane Speechless

The three members of the ITV Sports punditry panel were in complete agreement that Argentina’s penalty kick in the first half of their World Cup semi-final match against Croatia was a wrong call from the referee.

Lionel Messi did not miss the chance of opening the scoring with a deadly left-footed finish from the penalty spot after his strike partner Julian Alvarez collided with Croatia goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic inside the area. The ball went into the goal to make Messi Argentina’s highest all-time World Cup scorer.

Alvarez broke through on goal and lobbed the ball beyond the advancing Livakovic, who came to a halt. The Manchester City striker then collided with the goalie, prompting the referee to nod to the penalty spot.

Conversely, ITV’s commentary panel, which included former England internationals Gary Neville and Ian Wright, as well as former Manchester United captain Roy Keane, unanimously agreed that the penalty ruling was erroneous and that Croatia had been treated unfairly.

In the beginning of the discussion on the ITV panel, Neville said, “No, there should not have been a penalty, not at all.” The goalkeeper comes out, he essentially just makes a movement to his right, stops himself before the actual shot is going to be made, and Alvarez just rushes into him and pulls his leg away. We’re right above it here, but this perspective is a bit farther away. 

“This is not a penalty. What else can he do? He has to make that motion to try and save the ball, he plants his feet. If he’d carried on running out and taken out Alvarez then fair enough, but he stops before it and I don’t know if that’s a penalty.”

Wright agreed with Neville’s assessment, and the former Arsenal forward went on to say,  “When you look at it, the center forward, he’s actually mis-kicked it to be honest. If he hits it and it goes into the goal, the goalkeeper can’t do anything like you say, he’s stopped. 

Alvarez miskicks it, it’s not going into the goal, the goalkeeper can’t do anything else but stand his ground and he runs into him. The referee didn’t have a look, I can’t understand it.”

Keane’s statement served as the conclusion for the unanimity that had been reached among the panel members. He said, “Poor defending overall to let him get a run in on goal, but I agree with the lads I don’t think it’s a penalty, where else are you supposed to go?”

At this point, referee analyst Peter Walton was brought in to explain why the referees had arrived at the proper judgment to give a penalty. He explained why they had gotten to the correct conclusion. Wright reacted with “wow…wow” when Walton explained the regulations to him.

What do you think about the half-penalty kick awarded to Argentina in the first half of the semi-final match against Croatia? Was it a fair decision? Tell us what you think in the comments section below!

Jane Davies

Jane Davies

An entertainment enthusiast located in Austin. She is a tech geek, movie fan, and a dedicated binge-watcher. She is someone who enjoys keeping up with the current events and entertainment gossips.

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