VAR can only be effective if properly used, Argentina’s coach says

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Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni says the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system can become efficient as expected only if it is properly and consistently used.

“You have to make the VAR system consistent,” Scaloni said after VAR denied the two-times World Cup winners a win in their 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Paraguay on Thursday night.

“Because there were situations in which you could have activated it and maybe it would be good to have a consistent approach.”

“Football is a dynamic contact sport, the time which passes between a fault and its sanctioning needs to be optimised,” Scaloni added.

Argentina dropped points for the first time in their third game of South America’s qualifying rounds, though they also kept their unbeaten run going with a tenth consecutive game without loss.

Paraguay survived an Argentinian siege to take home one point in the qualifying rounds for the 2022 Qatar World Cup after a potential winner by Lionel Messi was disallowed.

Argentina were never ahead in the 1-1 draw in Buenos Aires.

Paraguay struck first when Miguel Almiron was taken down in the area earning a penalty kick converted by Angel Romero on 21 minutes.

Substitute Giovani Lo Celso helped square things off at the end of the first half with a perfect corner-kick headed in by Nicolas Gonzalez.

He was scoring his first international goal for Argentina at age 22.

Lo Celso came on for Exequiel Palacios, who was dealt a harsh blow to the lower back by Paraguay goalscorer Romero in the first half.

The midfielder, who plays for Bayer Leverkusen, was diagnosed with a fracture of the transverse processes of the lumbar vertebrae.

A statement released by Argentina later disclosed that Palacios would remain in hospital for observation.

The Albiceleste, who controlled the ball throughout the match with a whopping 69 per cent time of possession, thought they finally got the lead when Messi scored after 57 minutes.

VAR however ruled that Argentina’s action began with a fault some 30 seconds prior and disallowed the leftie strike off a Lo Celso pass.

The Argentinian captain went close to scoring again on 71 minutes with a free-kick from the top of the area, but goalkeeper Antony Silva stretched to deflect for a corner-kick.

They will next face Peru on Thursday.

Paraguay moved on to five points from a possible nine points, and they will next face in five days’ time a Bolivia who are without a win.

Earlier on, Ecuador came from behind to defeat Bolivia 3-2 in La Paz thanks to a late penalty kick awarded by the VAR for a handball converted by Carlos Gruezo.

The win puts Ecuador on six points from a possible nine points and leave their hosts without a point after three matches.