River Plate blames VAR for falling in Copa Libertadores semifinal

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Video replay is being used more and more in global soccer, and it’s not necessarily for the better, according to some teams.

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Argentine giants River Plate shared that thought on Tuesday night when the club was eliminated in the Copa Libertadores semifinals by Lanus — 4-3 on aggregate — after a pair of questionable decisions cost Marcelo Gallardo’s squad a spot in the final.

“This defeat is difficult to digest,” Gallardo told reporters. “It was a clear penalty. I prefer that a referee continues to make mistakes but not that seven judges are mistaken. You don’t understand how it can work for the two teams or if it only works for one depending on the result.”

Already up 1-0 on aggregate heading into Tuesday’s second leg, River extended its advantage to 3-0 in the early stages of the match with goals from Ignacio Scocco and Gonzalo Montiel, however, the rest of the game proved to be all Lanus.

Gallardo was furious five minutes before halftime when River wasn’t awarded a penalty after Scocco worked his way into the Lanus box, before the ball went off Ivan Marcone’s hand.

The decisive moment came in the 69th minute, when Lanus was given a PK for Montiel’s push on Nicholas Pasquini in the penalty area. Although, the foul was very close to occurring outside the penalty area (video below).

Lanus will either meet Ecuadorian side Barcelona or Brazil’s Gremio in this season’s final — which will be played over two legs in November.