Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo was deprived of a goal in stoppage time, by a controversial decision in his country’s draw with Serbia, while Belgium fell into a draw against Czechia, while the Netherlands and Croatia made up for their poor start, in the second round of the European qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup. .
In the first group, Portugal squandered its lead by two clean goals for its striker Diogo Jota, and came out with a disappointing 2-2 draw against its host Serbia, in a match that marked a controversial end, because the referee did not count a goal for its captain Ronaldo, after it appeared that the ball crossed the goal line.
Portugal, the European champion, advanced through two heads of Liverpool striker Jota (11 and 36), before the owners responded with the start of the second half, through Alexander Merovic (46) and Philip Kostic (60).
And the match marked the end of the controversy, after a long ball reached Ronaldo behind the defenders of substitute Nuno Mendes in the area, he followed it into the net, before defender Stefan Mitrovic rescued it in the last moments (90 + 3), amid a loud protest from Ronaldo towards the referee, which led To receive a yellow card.
Ronaldo demanded that the goal be counted, as it appeared that the ball had crossed the goal line, but the referee kept his decision, noting that goal-line technology and video assistant referee “VR” were not approved in the qualifiers.
“Why did we allow Serbia to equalize the score?” Said coach Fernando Santos, who celebrated his 1000th match in his coaching career. I have no explanation. I can’t find any explanation. We studied Serbia, and we knew what they could do. I warned my players about it. ”
As for Ronaldo’s goal, Santos said: “We scored a goal that was not counted, while the ball entered. In a match of this level, this is not allowed. ”
Serbia tops the standings with four points, goal difference from Portugal, after winning the first round 3-2 against the Republic of Ireland, which suffered a second loss in a row with its sudden fall to Luxembourg with a goal without response.
Portugal comes to Luxembourg on the 30th of this month, while Serbia comes to Azerbaijan.
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