The Juventus star couldn’t believe his late effort was deemed not to have crossed the finish line by match officials
Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo tore his armband in anger and went straight to the dressing room after seeing his last-minute winner over Serbia ignored in Saturday’s World Cup qualifiers.
The Juventus ace believed he saved the visitors’ victory after wasting a two-goal lead.
But his strike was mistakenly seen as not having crossed the finish line, leaving a relieved Serbia to celebrate a 2-2 draw as Portugal raged against match officials.
After opening their qualifying campaign with a 1-0 victory over Azerbaijan, the reigning European champions were hoping to score six out of six points on Saturday.
Diogo Jota was essential, scoring both goals to put the Selecao comfortably before half-time.
Serbia did not give up, however, passing through Aleksandar Mitrovic and Filip Kostic after the break to tie the game.
All of those efforts, however, looked set to end in vain as Ronaldo squeezed the ball over the line in the dying seconds, despite Mitrovic’s desperate efforts to clear.
But while TV reruns showed the ball was clearly crossed, no goals were ahead; and Ronaldo, who had already walked away to celebrate, began to scold the linesman as play continued around him.
The forward got a yellow card for his troubles and stormed the pitch even before the final whistle sounded, throwing his captain’s armband on the ground for good measure.
Watch now – https://t.co/RRmQgctETJ pic.twitter.com/f9XwwF5lCc
– beIN SPORTS (@beINSPORTS_EN) March 27, 2021
Where’s the technology?
Such incidents have been largely relegated to the past in elite football due to the advent of goal line technology.
The system, which helps officials determine whether the ball has completely crossed the line, first appeared at the World Cup in 2014 and even earlier in some domestic leagues, although UEFA has been slower to reach adopt it, ultimately using the technology for Euro 2016 and beyond. Champions League campaign.
However, neither goal-line technology nor VAR is in place in the playoffs, meaning Ronaldo continues to seek his first goal of the campaign after also making a blank against Azerbaijan.