Tottenham boss Antonio Conte was angry about VAR’s decision to rule out Harry Kane’s injury time goal against Sporting Lisbon and accused the tech of being dishonest against his team.
Kane fired at home in the fifth minute of injury time to spark wild cheers with the hosts who believed the effort had taken them to the Champions League round of 16.
Dutch officer Pol van Boekel, who was in charge of the VAR, determined that Kane was in the lead when Emerson Royal’s header hit Flavio Nazinho and bounces off the attacker’s trajectory, who casually crashed and briefly scored the score 2-1.
The players and sports staff celebrated the decision to rule out the goal, which meant that Marcus Edwards’ first-half goal – nullified by a header from Rodrigo Bentancur in the 81st minute – left all four sides of the Group D with the possibility of entering the knockout stage in the last match.
“I think there are times when maybe you can be a little smart to understand that you just canceled a fair goal because the goal was fair. The ball is in front of Kane “, Conte insisted at the press conference before leaving after a question.
“And then the VAR. I repeat you know that I do not comment on the referees decisions but the VAR, this season, I do not know why between the Premier League and the Champions League, we are not so lucky.
“I don’t know why so far we are also the only team that has repeated the penalty and every penalty I go to see, if the goalkeeper moves in line I see him a lot. I want to see a repeat of a penalty in the Premier League.
“I think we’re not that lucky with VAR, but I think it creates a lot of damage. I would like to see if this kind of decision can be made with a great team, in an important game, yes, I would like to see if the VAR is brave enough to make this decision.
“I repeat this unfair decision because the ball is in front of Kane. Sorry, but I’m really angry because sometimes you can accept this situation and sometimes I think it’s not good because I don’t see honesty in this kind of situation and when I see this I get really, really angry. “
Away from the dramatic finale, it was another match where Tottenham had failed to put together a full 90-minute display with Edwards giving the visitors a well-deserved half-time advantage.
The former Spurs youth team player overtook Eric Dier and traded passes with Paulinho before slipping into the bottom corner from 25 yards after 22 minutes.
Conte’s team improved after the break with Dier not making the most of three chances while Matt Doherty and Son Heung-min put Antonio Adan to the test.
But Sporting also had their chances with substitute Arthur Gomes shooting wide with most of the goal missed just minutes before Bentancur headed Ivan Perisic’s corner.
It means Tottenham need a point in Marseille on Tuesday to qualify for the round of 16 and Conte invited the club to speak to relevant people about the VAR decision.
He added: “For the game we played the first half at a low intensity and Sporting deserve to stay at 1-0 and at the end of the game after our second half I think we deserved the three points.
Now for this decision we have to wait for the last match against Marseille and I repeat this decision, yes, it creates a big damage.
I hope the club understands this and then in the right situation also talks to the people they have to talk about because otherwise it is only the manager who talks.
“I think the club has to be strong because I repeat this situation creates big, big damage. Now we don’t know what will happen next week. If we go out, I want to see. “
Sports boss Ruben Amorim was disheartened after seeing Kane shoot at home, but after the intervention of the VAR he defended the technology.
“I like it because it’s right, most of the time,” he said.
“I know there are a lot of problems sometimes because they are tough decisions, but like I said I haven’t seen the footage. For me it was very good. For Antonio Conte it didn’t go very well but it’s football and it’s nice to improve football. For the fans, sometimes it’s not that good, but I think it’s fair. “