Eden Hazard’s pass should mean Canada win a second penalty against Belgium

Soccer fans were left fuming on Wednesday night, believing a huge refereeing error cost Canada a second penalty against Belgium in their first World Cup game since 1986.

They haven’t had the easiest start to their campaign, coming up against the second best team in the world, according to the FIFA rankings.

Belgium had their own ‘golden generation’, with many believing they had missed their best chance to win something in previous tournaments.

Despite Roberto Martinez’s side being favorites going into the game, Canada came out of the blocks flying as they hoped to score their country’s first World Cup goal.

They had the perfect chance in the 10th minute when Yannick Carrasco was adjudged, by VAR, to have handled the ball inside the box.

Davies stepped up to take the spot but Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois equalized and made a save to deny the Bayern Munich man.

Just two minutes later, the North Americans found themselves appealing for another penalty when Tajon Buchanan appeared to stumble in the box.

The assistant referee came to the Europeans’ aid, raising his flag to show that Buchanan was offside, meaning no VAR review was required.

However, fans noted that the ball to Buchanan had actually been played by Eden Hazard, meaning there should not have been an offside flag.

“This is a HUGE call by the ref. Canada would have had a golden chance to score (and arguably could have been a penalty) but the ref calls it offside even though it was from a bad back pass by Hazard,” one fan said on social media.

“Now how did I see the potential penalty on Buchanan was called offside when it was Hazard who passed him? Lmph, so we should have had two stonewalls not given, nice,” added a second.

A third needed clarification on what he had seen, asking: “How come it wasn’t taken as another penalty but given offside? Hazard passed the ball back didn’t he?”

Another pointed out that there could have been a third spot, saying: “Hazard passes the ball back, the ref calls Canada offside, 1 penalty missed, 2 clear penalties missed.. this ref and VAR are a joke.”

John Herdman’s side would not have been happy to see another penalty not awarded when Axel Witsel appeared to trip Richie Larrea but it was not awarded.

The official made huge headlines earlier this year when he finished twice early in a match between Tunisia and Mali at the Africa Cup of Nations.

The coach, who became the first to take charge of a team at both a men’s and women’s World Cup, having taken charge of New Zealand Women at the 2007 and 2011 tournaments, would have erupted to see his side fall behind.

Michy Batshuayi broke the deadlock on the stroke of half-time, guiding the ball home as it bounced over his shoulder from Toby Alderweireld’s pass.

Canada continued to be the better team but couldn’t find a way through and Martinez’s side took the three points.

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