Portugal were penalised late on against Iran and were held to a 1-1 draw, allowing Spain to top Group B and face Russia in the last 16.
Fernando Santos saw his men take the lead through a brilliant strike from Ricardo Quaresma in the first half, and they looked set to secure all three points.
However, in the final minutes of the game, Cedric Soares was adjudged to have committed a handball in the box despite the fact that it didn’t look deliberate in the slightest, leading to a furious reaction from BBC pundits Alan Shearer and Pablo Zabaleta over the decision and the referee.
Nevertheless, the spot-kick was awarded and Iran made the most of the opportunity while threatening late on to score a winner and send Portugal out of the tournament.
The European champions held on for a draw which saw them finish second in Group B behind Spain, and they’ll now face Uruguay in the next round.
As noted in the comments below on Twitter though, fans were fuming with the referee and VAR for the incorrect decision, and it will naturally raise question marks over both moving forward for the duration of the World Cup.
Fortunately from a Portuguese perspective, it didn’t cost them their place in the next round, but having now drawn Uruguay next instead of Russia, arguably the tougher assignment, it remains to be seen whether or not it will haunt them.
Football has gone mad ?
— Ted BT (@margueritehighs) June 25, 2018
Refereeing has been awful this game. Lost control.
— Jack ? (@Jak032) June 25, 2018
— richard mckee (@rickymckee73) June 25, 2018
How can you look at that so many times and still get it wrong?
— james corcoran (@jamesy0891) June 25, 2018
— Lisa Luetchford (@LiisaAnne_xx) June 25, 2018
Complete farce never a pen, handball is meant to be for intentional handball! Very poor
— David Peddie (@DavidPeddie) June 25, 2018
— Luke Naylor (@lukechunknaylor) June 25, 2018
What a joke of a ref.
— Kieran Carey (@kierancarey20) June 25, 2018
Never a penalty. Ref has lost the bloody plot.
— Susan Bunch (@SusanBunch17) June 25, 2018
What a farce. Sadly international football is populated by cheats.
— Brian Keighley (@Brian74165024) June 25, 2018
Outrageous penalty decision, absolutely farcical
— Deb Dawson (@debdaws) June 25, 2018