Cristiano Ronaldo

Should Cristiano Ronaldo have been sent off vs Iran? Fans in complete disagreement

Viewers of tonight’s clash between Portugal and Iran have taken to social media in their droves to discuss a controversial moment involving Cristiano Ronaldo, in which the Real Madrid superstar was handed a yellow card, following VAR consultation.

Matchup

The two sides went head to head at the Mordovia Arena in their final Group B fixture, with Spain and Morocco having faced off in the group’s other final clash tonight.

Everything was still to play for, as Morocco were the only side who could not advance to the last-16.

1-1

A hectic evening in Russia eventually saw Portugal escape with a 1-1 draw, though things could easily have been so different.

Ricardo Quaresma opened the scoring shortly before the interval with a moment of individual brilliance, as the European champions looked to be in complete control of proceedings:

However, a high-octane and controversy-filled second 45 minutes so nearly saw Portugal crash out.

First, Cristiano Ronaldo was awarded a penalty-kick following VAR consultation by referee Enrique Caceres in the 53rd-minute, but Ronaldo’s ensuing spot-kick was saved by Alireza Beiranvand in the Iran goal.

A number of crunching tackles then saw referee Caceres put under huge pressure from both sets of players to continually check his decisions with VAR, setting the scene for a tense final 15 minutes.

As such, when Morteza Pouraliganji went to ground off the ball following a challenge with Cristiano Ronaldo in the 83rd-minute, Iran’s players and staff immediately pleaded with Caceres to once again make use of VAR.

The official subsequently did, before deeming Ronaldo’s coming together with Pouraliganji as being worthy of a yellow card.

Debate

And, despite Iran having incredibly had the chance to snatch all 3 points and eliminate their illustrious opponents after Karim Ansarifard’s superb injury-time penalty was so nearly added to by Mehdi Taremi in the 95th-minute, much of the discussion in the clash’s aftermath has since surrounded the decision not to send off Ronaldo.

Viewers have been engaged in heavy debate across social media, with some of the opinion that there was nowhere near enough contact made for Ronaldo to be given his marching orders, and others adamant that the veteran lashed out at the face of Pouraliganji and should have seen red for violent conduct:

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