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19th Dec 2022

Argentina’s third goal in World Cup final ‘should not have counted’

Callum Boyle


French media have claimed that Argentina’s third goal shouldn’t have counted after footage appeared to show multiple Argentinian substitutes on the pitch before Lionel Messi’s effort crossed the line.

Argentina stormed into a two-goal lead after Messi’s penalty and Angel Di Maria’s first half strike blew Didier Deschamps’ side away.

The 2018 World champions produced a valiant comeback though and turned the game on its head as two goals in the space of 90 seconds from Kylian Mbappé 10 minutes from time brought them back level.

Controversy arrived in the second half of extra time though as Messi then put Argentina back in front with a close-range strike as he latched onto Lautaro Martinez’s rebounded effort.

But French outlet L’Équipe believed Messi’s second goal should have been ruled out. A headline released on Monday morning read: ‘Why Argentina’s third goal shouldn’t have been awarded’.

Underneath they explained that “two emotionally charged substitutes” entered the pitch before the 35-year-old’s goal, which is “strictly prohibited”.

The goal had been checked for offside to see if Martinez had strayed over the line in the build up to the goal, however L’Équipe believe that a free kick should have been awarded to France for the pitch encroachment.

According to Law there, Paragraph nine of the Laws of Football states: “If, after a goal is scored, the referee becomes aware before play resumes that an additional person was on the pitch at the time the goal was scored: the referee must disallow the goal if the extra person was: a player, substitute, substituted player, sent off player or official of the team who scored the goal; play must be restarted with a direct free kick from the place where the extra person was.”

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