We’re analysing every VAR decision made throughout all 64 games at the 2022 World Cup. Find out why Canada only got one of three possible VAR penalties against Belgium.
What happened: Tajon Buchanan’s shot in the eighth minute was blocked by Yannick Carrasco. The Canada player appealed for a penalty straight away but the game continued.
VAR review: A strange situation, because the assistant got the offside completely wrong. The ball was actually passed back towards his own goal by Eden Hazard, and not by a Canada player, so there was no possible offside offence. However, the possible foul by Vertonghen happened before Zambian referee Janny Sikazwe blew his whistle to stop play, so a VAR review for a penalty was still possible.
A replay showed that Vertonghen got a toe to the ball before he caught Buchanan, which is absolutely crucial in determining whether the decision goes to a VAR review. Without that touch, the offside would have been cancelled and a penalty awarded to Canada.
What happened: Shortly before half-time Richie Laryea broke into the area when running side-by-side with Belgium’s Axel Witsel and went down claiming for a penalty.
While there is certainly contact by Witsel on Laryea, it’s not through making a challenge. That doesn’t rule out the possibility of a penalty, but it would not be seen as a clear and obvious error by the referee not to award one with the players running alongside each other.