Former Super Eagles striker, Julius Aghahowa has berated the decision to hand Argentina a penalty in the first half of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Lionel Messi ticked in from 12 yards after Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele committed a foul in the vital area.
Aghahowa insists Juventus star, Ángel Di María was not fouled in the buildup to the penalty converted by seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, Lionel Messi.
“He (Angel Di Maria) wasn’t touched. The game has been given before it was played,” an angry Aghahowa said on Brila FM, Lagos.
“In such a game, shouldn’t it be checked by the VAR? This is clearly a demonstration that the World Cup was meant to be handed to Argentina and particularly, Lionel Messi.”
Aghahowa’s opinion was briefly contested by his former international teammate, Ifeanyi Udeze who asked:
“ What’s the job of you guys, strikers, Julius?
“I ask because the referees would always give the advantage to the strikers.
Aghahowa retorted:” It’s unfortunate, it’s unfair. “
Continuing on his analysis of the first half, Aghahowa who shone for Nigeria at the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Korea, and Japan was shocked by the decision of coach Didier Deschamps to substitute two of his key players.
“I wonder why Olivier Giroud had to be subbed off. Fine, Dembele has had a bad day. He hasn’t had a shot on goal and also caused the foul at the back leading to the penalty.
“Mbappe himself has not been in the game. He’s not been given any space to cause any problems for Argentina’s defence.
“Would Deschamps also substitute him? You don’t do that. You give him confidence, give them pep talk. They are professionals.
The first half of the game finished 2-0 with Di Maria scoring the second goal from a counter attack as Argentina punished the poor defending by France