Football

Women’s World Cup 2019: Falcons coach refuses to blame VAR for controversial exit by Germany

Nigeria coach Thomas Dennerby refused to blame VAR for their Women’s World Cup exit at the hands of Germany but believes no one has found the solution to the system’s on-going teething problems.

Alexandra Popp’s 20th-minute opener in the 3-0 last-16 win was referred as Svenja Huth, in an offside position, was in front of goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie, but on-field referee Yoshimi Yamashita deemed there was no interference.

The Japanese official then required VAR to come to her aid just before the half-hour. Her original decision to award a throw-in was referred as Evelyn Nwabuoku had caught Lina Magull with her follow-through from a clearance and the official, after three minutes of deliberation, changed her decision and awarded a penalty to Germany.

Sara Dabritz converted from the spot for her third goal in as many games before Lea Schuller added a late third to seal victory for Germany.

“I will not blame VAR. Germany scored three times, we didn’t score,” Dennerby told a press conference. “There have been some strange situations of course. There was one time in the first half when no one knows what they were watching for, players looking at each other, coaches looking at each other.

 “Football is a game with rhythm and if you break the rhythm sometimes it is not good. Goal-line technology is good for the game but I don’t think anyone has the final solution for VAR yet – but it did not affect our team.”

Germany coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg avoided the controversy, saying: “VAR was used perfectly fine for the penalty. All interruptions are quite difficult to handle, especially emotionally, but we tried to keep calm – especially for the second goal when it wasn’t quite clear.

“If there is a situation which has to be analysed that is the way it is. Maybe we can speed up the whole process when VAR is used but if the time is needed we have to accept it

“It was positive for us twice so maybe I’ll approach it in a positive way. But there were quite a lot of interruptions.”

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