Neymar drew a penalty with a ridiculous dive — but the World Cup's new replay system overturned the call

Julian Finney/Getty ImagesBrazilian star Neymar (center) pleading for a penalty.
  • Neymar was blasted on Twitter after drawing a penalty on an egregious dive.
  • VAR overturned the penalty call, leading Twitter to sing VAR’s praises.
  • The introduction of VAR is new, and the technology has divided fans’ opinions in the past.

Late in a deadlocked World Cup group stage match, Brazilian star Neymar looked to have earned a penalty against Costa Rica thanks to a rather ridiculous dive, one that Twitter took to roasting him for.

But this World Cup is not like past World Cups, no, this World Cup has video assistant referee, or VAR, ready to use in the case of controversial calls, and here VAR came to the rescue.

Naturally, Twitter was thrilled with the result. “VAR gets it right. Again,” wrote Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl on Twitter, while ESPN’s Raphael Honigstein said the call was the, “Best use of VAR, EVER.”

https://twitter.com/lgbtqfc/status/1010156802242174977?ref_src=twsrc^tfw

VAR represents a relatively major rule change for soccer, and its implementation has not been universally welcomed by fans, out of concerns that the technology might disrupt the flow of the game. But if VAR can disincentivize egregious dives like Neymar’s, the technology just might win everyone over.

As for Brazil, they went on to score two goals in stoppage time, with Neymar getting one of them, to win the match 2-0.

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