Team boss Fernando Santos was also angry about his own inability. He warned the players during the break that their opponents would change their direction in the second half: “I have no explanation for why we left them in,” said Santos. The 66-year-old will start his 1,000 game against Luxembourg on Monday as a coach at club and national team level.
VAR cannot correct referee mistakes
Ronaldo was angry not because of the playful lead, but about this one scene of the game in Belgrade, exactly after 2:51 minutes of stoppage time, when he scored the alleged 3-2 winning goal for the guests. But the Dutch referee Danny Makkelie did not give the goal – and the video referee (VAR) is not available in the World Cup qualifiers.
This fact annoyed Santos too. “The referee apologized and I have great respect for him,” he said. “But it cannot be that in a competition like this there is no goal-line technology and no video referee.”
He did not notice that Ronaldo had thrown away his dark blue captain’s armband in anger shortly before going into the catacombs, according to Santos. He only heard that Ronaldo reacted “less well” after the final whistle. “The frustration is normal when you scored the winning goal for Portugal but it doesn’t count,” said the coach. “I won’t make an issue out of it.”
Yellow card instead of cheering for victory
After a wide cross, Ronaldo had volleyed the ball half right just before the baseline, it rolled over the line – and was behind it with full extent. This was also shown by the often repeated TV pictures. The Portuguese were already cheering, but Makkelie let the game continue. He didn’t score, but showed the protesting Ronaldo a yellow card.
Angry, the superstar stormed off the lawn, he threw off the captain’s armband. But that was by no means meant symbolically. Because being the Portuguese captain is the greatest pride and privilege of his life, Ronaldo assured on Instagram.