Arbitration controversy tarnishes Brazil’s victory over Colombia in the Copa América

(CNN) – Brazil maintained its perfect record in the America’s Cup 2021 with a 2-1 victory over Colombia, but it was a result clouded by controversy.

Argentine referee Nestor Pitana was at the center of the controversy. And it is not the first time in his career.

After FC Porto forward Luis Díaz gave Colombia a lead in the first half with an impressive aerial shot, the best goal of the tournament so far, Brazil’s draw in the 78th minute came after a passing attempt Neymar hit Pitana’s legs.

Copa América: results, goals and classification, minute by minute

The referee brought the whistle to his mouth, causing several Colombian players to stop, but inexplicably decided to continue the game, allowing Neymar to pick up the ball and pass it to Renan Lodi, whose center was finished off by Roberto Firmino.

Colombia’s players were understandably outraged by the goal, which stood despite clearly going against the rules set by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) and the presence of the VAR.

IFAB rules state that the ball should be considered out of play if it “touches a match official, remains on the field of play and a team starts a promising attack.

Colombia’s fury was compounded by Casemiro’s winning goal in the 100th minute of play, which allowed the Seleção to score three wins in three games.

Colombia’s coach, Reinaldo Rueda, showed his usual diplomatic demeanor after the match.

“The two goals for Brazil are different situations,” he said at his press conference. “For the first, I think the referee’s situation caused the players to get distracted.”

The defeat leaves Colombia in second place with four points in Group B but has already secured its place in the quarterfinals alongside Brazil.

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