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Euro 2024: Controversial VAR call denies Netherlands vital win against France, ends in goalless draw

In a thrilling encounter at Euro 2024, the Netherlands were left frustrated as a controversial VAR decision denied them a crucial victory against France on Friday.

football Euro 2024: Controversial VAR call denies Netherlands vital win against France, ends in goalless draw snt
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First Published Jun 22, 2024, 2:38 AM IST

In an exhilarating Euro 2024 match, the Netherlands were left disappointed after a contentious VAR ruling denied them a vital win against France, resulting in a hard-fought goalless draw on Friday evening. The Group D match, held at the iconic Red Bull Arena in Germany's Leipzig, turned into a tale of missed opportunities and VAR drama, leaving fans and pundits alike buzzing with controversy.

The Netherlands began with a promising chance early on as Jeremie Frimpong threatened the French defense within seconds of kick-off, only to be thwarted by Theo Hernandez's determined tracking back and a solid save from goalkeeper Mike Maignan.

France responded with their own attacking flair as Antoine Griezmann unleashed a powerful strike from distance, forcing Dutch keeper Bart Verbruggen into a spectacular save to deny what seemed a certain goal.

The first half saw both teams exchanging opportunities, with Griezmann and Adrien Rabiot notably failing to capitalize on a clear-cut chance due to a miscommunication in the final third, much to the relief of the Dutch defense.

Despite intermittent attacking forays, the pace of the game remained somewhat subdued, possibly influenced by the humid conditions in the stadium. As halftime approached, neither side managed to break the deadlock, leaving spectators anticipating more fireworks in the second half.

France intensified their efforts as the second half began, with glimpses of their attacking prowess shining through despite the absence of Kylian Mbappe, who remained on the bench as a tactical option.

Antoine Griezmann continued to be a central figure in their offensive maneuvers, orchestrating plays and testing the Dutch defense with his incisive runs and shots from distance. However, the final touch eluded Les Bleus, leaving their fans frustrated yet hopeful for a breakthrough.

The pivotal moment of the match came in the 69th minute when Xavi Simons thought he had finally broken the deadlock for the Netherlands. Following a fluid combination play involving Cody Gakpo and Memphis Depay, Simons clinically finished from close range. The Dutch fans erupted in celebration, only for their joy to be short-lived as VAR intervened. Jeremie Frimpong, deemed to be in an offside position and in the line of sight of French goalkeeper Mike Maignan, nullified the goal after a meticulous review.

The decision sparked controversy and heated debates among several netizens. "People who are saying Yes are saying it based on emotion. Maignan might not have saved it, but when you take away his chance of positioning himself, and diving by being in an offside position then it's offside," said one user on X.

Another added, "For me no goal. I know a lot of people won’t agree but whether he was gonna save it or not he’s still blocking the keeper."

"Yes 100% the keeper was no where near saving it anyway," said a third user responding to a question if the goal should have stood.

Neither team appeared likely to score for the rest of the match, settling instead for a point each in Euro 2024's first goalless encounter. With both sides now on four points, they are almost assured of advancing to the round of 16, with either potentially finishing at the top of Group D.

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