The side’s captain was absolutely fuming after the goal wasn’t allowed
Despite usually being a conventionally strong, compact and sound defensive unit, Portugal somehow managed to make of their defensive gameplan against Serbia.
Up 2-0 on the day, as Diogo Jota sent down two thumping headers, Portugal failed to close down the tie. The Serbians relentless and rampant brand of attacking football brought them back into the encounter as they erased the two goal deficit they faced in the first half.
However, the matchup looked to have one last twist left as Portugal’s captain, Cristiano Ronaldo managed to hit what looked to be a certain goal. Unfortunately, the strike was disallowed with the referee on the night adjudging Serbia’s Stefan Mitrovic to have cleared the ball before it crossed the goal’s line.
Ronaldo Launches Incredible Outburst
Despite replays showing that the ball had clearly crossed the line, Ronaldo and Portugal’s pleads fell to deaf tones. It left Ronaldo irked as he ran towards the linesman to reveal his disgust at the decision before going onto subsequently throw his captain’s armband to the ground.
Ronaldo’s antics eventually ended up earning him a yellow card on the night as Portugal had to settle for a 2-2 draw.
Cristiano Ronaldo walked off the pitch before the final whistle at the end of the Serbia-Portugal game, and threw his captain’s armband in frustration. pic.twitter.com/I2i9uwkPhM
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) March 27, 2021
FIFA’s guidelines also came under question with the governing council not mandating the need of the goal-line technology during qualification matches. Portugal’s coach Santos meanwhile revealed that the referee had apologised to him for his gaffe on the night.
“the referee afterwards saw what had happened and came to me to apologise for the mistake.”
“I don’t have an explanation [for the result]. I just can’t bring myself. We studied Serbia. We knew how to play them, like we did in the first half. We knew they could change it up, and had the players to do it,
“Serbia started the first half well and scored. They tied the match but we reacted well, creating opportunities. At the end, the ball was half a metre in but it was not given. It would have been a just result if it counted,
“Of course, it does not make up for the fact that we didn’t do well enough. But, if we had the ball in the goal, it should have counted.”