Luis Suarez scored from the penalty spot as Uruguay beat Argentina 3-2 in the final round of World Cup qualifying, but the manner in which he earned the spot-kick has been called into question.
Uruguay’s win still only booked them a play-off spot due to their inferior goal difference, but 101 Great Goals felt Suarez was the talking point following his 34th-minute penalty.
With 34 minutes on the clock and the score 1-1, a deep left wing cross came in and Suarez went down quicker than you would believe.
How Brazilian referee Marcelo de Lima Henrique fell for this one is completely beyond us.
Surely, even Liverpool fans can’t defend Suarez for one of the most blatant pieces of simulation you will ever see.
While appearing a soft penalty award, it would seem harsh to declare Suarez’s tumble “one of the most blatant pieces of simulation you will ever see,” as 101 Great Goals reports.
Footage clearly shows a nudge in the Liverpool striker’s back and, while he has shown on numerous occasions that he has fantastic balance, Suarez appears to fall upon feeling contact—as many strikers do in today’s game.
There have been many high-profile cases of players exaggerating contact to win penalties, not least Michael Owen’s tumble against Argentina at the 2002 World Cup.
The “English way” is to demand honesty of all players. Steven Gerrard’s goal against Poland on Tuesday provides the template—staying on his feet to score even though he was shoved en route to goal.
However, Suarez’s latest incident is no worse than the Owen fall—for which the England man was widely acclaimed over a decade ago. Both did what was best for their team in a big match, making the most of what contact was made.
Unfortunately for Liverpool, Suarez has now had two games added to his calendar after Uruguay finished fifth in qualifying, setting up a play-off with Jordan.
The striker’s penalty handed Uruguay a 2-1 lead over an already-qualified and understrength Argentina side, who hit back through Maxi Rodriguez.
Edinson Cavani netted Uruguay’s winner, but the South Americans always knew it would need a miracle for them to snatch fourth spot.
A double-header against Jordan should not block their eventual progress to next summer’s World Cup, where Suarez will hope to prove his status as one of the most lethal forwards in world football.