Chile coach Juan Antonio Pizzi felt the use of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system affected his side mentally as they struggled to see off Cameroon at the Confederations Cup on Sunday.
The South American champions saw Eduardo Vargas’ wonderfully-worked goal in first-half injury time chalked off after VAR was implemented, controversially ruling the forward was fractionally offside as he ran on to Arturo Vidal’s delightful throughball.
But it came to their aid late on when Vargas did get his goal after VAR overruled the linesman and adjudged Alexis Sanchez to be onside in the build up. That goal put Chile 2-0 up and effectively ended the game as a contest after man of the match Arturo Vidal had nodded Pizzi’s men in front with 10 minutes to go.
It all contributed to a confusing evening and not one the game’s lawmakers will look back on with fondness.
And Pizzi admitted the emotional highs and lows caused by VAR throughout an absorbing 90 minutes had had an effect on his team’s performance.
He said: “I think this system needs time. If I am right, we are trialling the system right now so it’s difficult as we are used to another system in the world of football.
“At the end of the first half we could have been 1-0 up but 20 minutes later we were still level and that made the players disappointed. It’s true it caused distress but that’s because we are not used to it. We will have to wait and see how it develops.
“It’s true that maybe the situation had an impact on our performance in the second half. It was a fair decision but it’s difficult as before this tournament the goal would have stood.
“The only negative comment was that it’s difficult for the players’ feelings during the game. Even if the right decision was reached it has an impact on the players.”
Vidal, despite being livid at the time and protesting vehemently to on-field official Damir Skomina, was more diplomatic afterwards, saying: “It’s the first time our team has played with this new technology and when we were on the pitch we were very concerned.
“In the moment it’s not easy to accept but it’s fair and it will be useful.”