As Scottish football enters the VAR era, the game at Murrayfield has been overturned. The first goal to be checked by VAR came when Ukrainian Mykola Kukharevych headed the ball past St Johnstone keeper Remi Matthews. This was the first VAR-checked goal in the Scottish Premiership. When the goal was given, St Johnstone supporters erupted in delight. In the aftermath, the St Johnstone players and supporters were able to defend their goalkeeper Matthews.
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Liel Abada scores
The new video assistant referee (VAR) was in the spotlight on Sunday afternoon in the Scottish Premiership as Saints came from behind to beat Hibs 2-1. The game was the first time in Scottish football history that VAR has been used on the final whistle, with all three Saints goals checked by VAR. In the game, St Johnstone had dominated the first hour, and should have been more than one goal ahead at half-time. However, a sending off for Hibs midfielder Kyle Magennis, with 20 minutes to go, meant that Saints’ chances were reduced. But a late goal from St Johnstone’s substitute, Eli Youan, made the difference.
Hibs had been struggling to score a second goal and were reduced to ten men when Kyle Magennis was sent off. The Saints’ second goal came after a corner was cleared by Saints and was controversially given out for a foul on Clark.
Reo Hatate scores
Reo Hatate’s brilliant first-half display against Celtic was a key factor in St Johnstone’s victory over the Hoops. Despite being a left-sided midfielder, Hatate played well in both half-times, playing a one-two with Bernabei and drifting in from the left flank. He also made a couple of clever passes on the edge of the penalty area. The midfielder had a huge impact on the game, getting involved in virtually everything Celtic did in the first half.
VAR is making its Scottish football debut in the Premiership. This weekend’s game between St Johnstone and Hibernian saw three goals checked. St Johnstone were successful in the match, but Hibernian manager Chris Sutton criticised the ‘incompetence’ of the referees. In the first match, a team of amateurs was responsible for running the VAR system.
Referee makes four decisions
St Johnstone have a good record against Hibs and were expecting a close match this evening. However, they were beaten 1-0 at Easter Road by Martin Boyle. The midfielder’s strike from close range was deflected into the box and the ball was awarded a penalty. The spot kick was converted after Zander Clark got a hand to the strike.
Despite the goal, the visitors had the last say. The visitors’ goal was controversial and was awarded with VAR, as it was the first in the Scottish Premiership. A St Johnstone player was sent off in the second half after appearing to have fouled a Hibs player.
Video assistant referee system improves spectacle of Scottish football
The Scottish Professional Football League has voted to introduce a new video assistant referee system (VAR) in the coming season. The vote took place on Tuesday, with 41 of the 42 teams in favour. The new system will be used in penalty kicks, red cards, goal confirmations and mistaken identity situations. It is expected to cost PS1.2 million a season, to be split between the teams based on their league standings at the end of the season. The new system is expected to be installed by early 2023, with the league cup semifinals being the first to use the technology.
The new system will reduce the pressure on referees by allowing them to review an incident in real time. Ideally, the review will be seen from a variety of camera angles, and the referee should then be able to judge if a mistake has been made. This should reduce the amount of time the referee spends officiating games, which should be a good thing for fans.
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