But before he could give Croatia a 2-1 lead, he was brought down from behind by Denmark’s Mathias Jorgensen. Clear penalty and red card, right?
— Football World (@Fortnit16697820) July 1, 2018
Penalty, yes. But not a red card. The referee showed Jorgensen a yellow. And it was the correct call.
Typically, a foul that denies a goalscoring opportunity merits a red. But a few years ago, a rule change pertaining to this exact type of incident was enacted: If a defender is attempting to play the ball when he or she commits a foul that denies a goalscoring opportunity in the penalty box, he or she can’t be punished with both a penalty and a red card. Instead, it’s a penalty and yellow.
Here’s the full rule, via IFAB, the International Football Association Board (emphasis ours):
Where a player denies the opposing team a goal or an obvious goal-scoring opportunity by a deliberate handball offense the player is sent off wherever the offense occurs.
Where a player commits an offense against an opponent within their own penalty area which denies an opponent an obvious goal-scoring opportunity and the referee awards a penalty kick, the offender is cautioned if the offense was an attempt to play the ball; in all other circumstances (e.g. holding, pulling, pushing, no possibility to play the ball etc.) the offending player must be sent off. A player, sent off player, substitute or substituted player who enters the field of play without the required referee’s permission and interferes with play or an opponent and denies the opposing team a goal or an obvious goal-scoring opportunity is guilty of a sending-off offense.
So Jorgensen, because he attempted to make a legal play on the ball, avoided a sending off.
His foul was therefore heroic. It turned a sure goal into a penalty … which Croatia’s Luka Modric missed:
WHAT A SAVE!
Schmeichel saves Modric's penalty to keep it level late in extra time. pic.twitter.com/0jee6ViAqS
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) July 1, 2018
The game went to a penalty shootout because of Jorgensen’s decision to commit the foul instead of let Rebic finish.
Croatia, however, won the shootout and advanced to the quarterfinals.
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