As I was at the cottage this weekend, and didn’t have any internet connection, I was unable to comment of match days 3 and 4 however, you would like my take on a couple of incidents please message me and I will gladly write a post or two. Most interesting one for me was Ecuador’s goal against Switzerland…in particular the ball placement.
On to match 1 of the day…
After watching the yet another embarrassment for a top class team, and having to witness Portugal’s horrific 4 – 0 loss to Germany, I decided that I should count my lucky stars that the score line wasn’t more drastic as Portugal should have been in deeper water very early in the game. To what am I referring? In the 11th minute, Mario Goetze was hauled back by the arm as he bore down on the Portugal goal by João Pereira, who got a yellow card for his troubles.
Most people would say “So, what’s wrong with that? The referee called the foul, correctly, and the offender was disciplined with a caution”. As a Portugal supported (I’m 1/2 Portugueses on my mother’s side) I say yes, you are right. However, as a referee, I think that Milorad Mazic was very lenient as there is a very good, and compelling case for DOGSO!
What is DOGSO?
DOGSO (Denying an Obvious Goal Scoring Opportunity) is when the attacking team is denied a goal or the opportunity to score a goal by the defense who commits an offense punishable by a free kick* or a penalty kick.
There are two sending-off offences that deal with denying an opponent an obvious opportunity to score a goal.
Law 12 – Fouls and Misconduct
“A player, substitute or substituted player is sent off if he commits any of the following seven offences:
– denying the opposing team a goal or an obvious goalscoring opportunity by deliberately handling the ball (this does not apply to a goalkeeper within his own penalty area)
-denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity to an opponent moving towards the player’s goal by an offence punishable by a free kick or a penalty kick.” (FIFA LOTG 2014/15, pp. 39)
In order for a DOGSO send off to be warranted, a few questions need to be answered – these are known as the 4 D’s:
1) Number of Defenders
a) Are there any defenders between the attacker and the goal that could dispossess the attacker of the ball and prevent a scoring opportunity?
b) Did the area between the attacker and the goal have fewer than two nearby defenders who were able to become involved?
NO! There are 2 other defenders close by, but not between the ball and the goal – other than the goalkeeper.
2) Distance to goal
a) As the attacker plays the ball, is his proximity to goal such that he is close enough that he would have a reasonable opportunity to advance the ball without opponents tracking him down.
To this I would answer YES, because the only way those other 2 defenders are stopping that attacked are if they slide, and even then it’s more than likely to be a foul.
b) Was the foul committed near the goal? The farther from goal, the less likely it is that an “obvious” goal scoring opportunity existed?
YES! Within the Penalty Area, approximately 13 yards from the goal line.
3) Distance to ball
a) Is the attacker close enough to the ball to be considered to have “possession” or a clear chance to play the ball or will the goalkeeper or another player get to the ball before the attacker?
The ball is at the attacker’s feet, who is clearly in possession of it. Also, the goalkeeper is approximately 8 – 10 yards in front of the attacker and there is no chance of the keeper being able to gain possession of the ball before a shot is taken.
b) What is the likelihood of the attacker keeping or gaining control of the ball?
The likelihood is quite high as the goalkeeper is far enough away, and all other defending player are behind the attacker.
c) Was the ball within a reasonable distance to the attacker playing the ball?
Again, the ball was at his feet, well within playing distance.
4) Direction of play
a) Is the attacker’s position on the field such that he is headed/moving directly to goal? Consider the attacker’s touch on the ball. Is it headed toward the goal area or at an angle away from the goal?
YES! Directly headed for the goal…not diagonally.
b) Was the attacker running directly towards the goal? (and not away from the goal at an angle – e.g. towards the corner flag).
YES! Directly towards the goal…not the corner flags.
c) The attacker must have been moving toward the goal (not the goal line) at the time the foul was committed
YES! Directly towards the goal…not the goal line.
With all of these questions answered, there is no doubt in my mind that Pereira should have been sent off for denying his opponent an obvious goal scoring opportunity, and shown a red card. Portugal should have been playing with 10 men for 90% of the match, which means that by half time they would have been down 2 men, as Pepe was sent off at the 37th minute. Granted it was only 12 minutes into the first half however, do we referee’s get to pick and choose which laws to follow? NO! However, we do have a responsibility to be fail and one possible explanation for Mazic’s decision for not producing a red card was exactly that. It would have been quite detrimental to his match control to send of a player that early in the game. However, one could argue that Mazic has a Duty under Law 5 to produce that red card and send Pereira off for DOGSO.
Let me know what you think int he comments below.
Up next…Iran vs. Nigeria, in 5 minutes.
The Third Blind Mouse