The penalty decision that led to Argentina’s opening goal against Croatia has divided the football world, with SBS experts Mark Bosnich and Craig Foster in complete disagreement over the referee’s call.
Croatian goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic was penalised in the 34th minute of the World Cup semi-final after the referee determined he had illegally brought down Argentinian striker Julian Alvarez in the box.
Following a perfect run between Croatia’s defenders Alvarez had found himself one-on-one with the goalie before he attempted a chip shot.
His effort on goal was cleared away by the Croatian defence however Alvarez had been brought down by the keeper in the meantime.
Lionel Messi stepped up to smash home the ensuing penalty chance to give Argentina a 1-0 lead in the match.
Stream Over 50 Sports Live & On-Demand with Kayo. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >
Despite admitting he was “biased”, Bosnich launched a fierce defence of the Croatian goalkeeper, who was also handed a yellow card for his indiscretion.
But Foster was having none of it, challenging his colleague at every turn.
Here’s how it played out.
Bosnich: “What is Livakovic supposed to do? He is standing there and Alvarez pokes it past him and he is allowed to stand there. That was a very harsh penalty.
Foster: “No, come on. He came out and fouled him, Boz.”
Bosnich: “I really don’t think that was a penalty. I don’t know what you expect Livakovic to do.”
Foster: “He could come and save the shot but he come to make a challenge.”
Bosnich: “But if he stops, you can’t just jump out of the way because somebody is running into you.”
Foster: “But you don’t have to be there, that is the thing. It is a foul on the player. The ball has gone over, he (Alvarez) can collect it on the other side. So he has to give a foul. The keeper could stay on his right.”
Bosnich: “But he could stand.”
Foster: “He wasn’t standing, he had come out.”
The two former football stars eventually agreed to disagree before watching Argentina fly away with the result in a dominant 3-0 win that sent them to the World Cup final.
Speaking after the match Bosnich accepted the penalty call didn’t go close to deciding the result with Argentina by far the better team.
“We can talk about the penalty all we want but they were by far the better team,” Bosnich said.
Bosnich and Foster weren’t the only TV pairing at loggerheads over the penalty decision, with Roy Keane, Gary Neville and Ian Wright all arguing the same call on ITV.
“This is not a penalty,” Neville said.
“What else can he do? He has to make that motion to try and save the ball, he plants his feet.
“If he’d carried on running out and taken out Alvarez then fair enough, but he stops before it and I don’t know if that’s a penalty.”
Wright added: “When you look at it, the centre forward, he’s actually miss-kicked it to be honest. If he hits it and it goes into the goal, the goalkeeper can’t do anything like you say, he’s stopped.”
Keane said: “Poor defending overall to let him get a run in on goal, but I agree with the lads, I don’t think it’s a penalty, where else are you supposed to go?”
Story Credit: news.com.au