VAR came to the forefront once again on Saturday – this time during the FIFA Club World Cup final – as Liverpool battled Brazilian side Flamengo.
In the final moments of normal time, Sadio Mane was racing through on goal and, when he seemed to be impeded, the referee awarded a penalty – to the dismay of the Flamengo players.
The decision ended up going to the video assistant referee and, after a review, the penalty was chalked off when Abdulrahman Al Jassim reversed his original verdict.
Instead of having a spot-kick, Liverpool were awarded a free-kick a matter of inches outside the penalty area once the ref had consulted the pitchside monitor.
In what was an incredibly dramatic moment in Doha, the yellow card given to ex-Bayern Munich defender Rafinha was rescinded and neither side were able to break the deadlock in normal time.
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Firmino puts Liverpool ahead in final
So, the 2019 Club World Cup final went to extra time and that’s where Jurgen Klopp’s men eventually made the decisive breakthrough.
Roberto Firmino kept his cool in the penalty area after great work from Jordan Henderson and Mane to fire the reigning Champions League holders ahead in the 99th-minute.
The 28-year-old Brazilian came off the bench to score the winner in the 2-1 semi-final win over Monterrey and produced the goods in the final after reclaiming his starting XI place.
VAR overturns Liverpool penalty
Check out the incident in the video below:
Liverpool triumphed in Qatar despite VAR overturning their penalty, and the result means the Merseyside club have lifted three trophies in the past seven months.
2019 has seen Liverpool win the Champions League, the UEFA Super Cup and now the FIFA Club World Cup – and their first Premier League title could be on the horizon in 2020.