Why Croatia miss their goal and Rodri Avoided a Red Card in Their EURO 2024 Clash ?

Referee Michael Oliver’s Decisions Stir Controversy in Spain’s 3-0 Victory Over Croatia

Spain vs Croatia highlights, ESP 3-0 CRO, Euro 2024: La Roja open campaign  with a comfortable win - Sportstar

Munich, Germany – Spain’s commanding 3-0 win over Croatia in the opening match of Group B at EURO 2024 has been overshadowed by two contentious decisions from English referee Michael Oliver. The match, which took place in the early hours of June 16th, saw heated debates over calls that could have significantly altered the game’s outcome.

Rodri’s Controversial Yellow Card: Was It DOGSO?

In the 77th minute, a crucial moment unfolded when Spanish goalkeeper Unai Simón’s poor pass placed Croatia’s Bruno Petković in a prime position to score. Spanish captain Rodri intervened with a tackle from behind, causing Petković to stumble and lose his footing.

Referee Oliver immediately awarded a penalty to Croatia but only showed Rodri a yellow card. Croatian players and fans reacted furiously, arguing that Rodri’s challenge denied an obvious goal-scoring opportunity (DOGSO) and should have warranted a red card. After consulting with the VAR team, Oliver upheld his original decision.

Spain lay down early marker at Euro 2024 with impressive win over Croatia |  Anglo Celt

Clarifying the incident, a Vietnamese V-League referee noted, “The decision to issue only a yellow card suggests the referee saw the foul as a careless error rather than an intentional denial of a goal-scoring chance. According to the laws of the game, if a foul leading to a penalty is deemed careless, it generally results in a yellow card, provided there is a genuine attempt to play the ball.”

This interpretation falls under the broader understanding that excessive or reckless fouls, even within the penalty area, are treated more severely, potentially leading to a red card if deemed to lack any intent of fair play.

VAR Intervention on Croatia’s Disallowed Goal

Another flashpoint occurred during the penalty awarded to Croatia following Rodri’s foul. Petković’s attempt from the spot was saved by Simón, but the rebound fell to Ivan Perišić, who set up Petković for what seemed to be Croatia’s first goal. However, Oliver, after consulting VAR, disallowed the goal due to encroachment.

VAR determined that a Croatian player had encroached into the penalty area before Petković’s initial kick. This decision was explained on the stadium’s electronic board, though the TV replays did not provide a clear view of the encroachment.

Spain vs Croatia, EURO 2024 highlights in pictures - Sportstar

Explaining this ruling, the V-League referee stated, “Typically, encroachment is reviewed by VAR if it directly impacts the outcome of the play. In this case, the encroaching player’s presence may have influenced the play immediately following the penalty kick.”

According to Rule 11 of the International Football Association Board (IFAB), players must not enter the penalty area until the ball is kicked. Encroachment can lead to the penalty being retaken or, as in this instance, the goal being disallowed if the encroaching player gains an advantage from their position.

Spain’s Victory and Controversial Aftermath

Despite these controversial decisions, Spain managed to secure a comfortable win and now leads Group B. The victory was marked by goals from Álvaro Morata, Fabian Ruiz, and Dani Carvajal, showcasing their clinical edge in front of goal.

However, the debates surrounding Michael Oliver’s decisions and VAR’s involvement continue to dominate discussions, casting a shadow over Spain’s otherwise impressive performance.

As EURO 2024 progresses, the focus on officiating and the use of technology in football will undoubtedly remain in the spotlight, influencing the dynamics of the tournament and the interpretation of the game’s laws.

Next Matches: Spain will look to build on their strong start when they face their next opponents in Group B, while Croatia must regroup and address their missed opportunities to stay competitive in the group stage.