- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 14, 2016

SUITA, Japan (AP) - Referee Viktor Kassai made some soccer history on Wednesday, using video replay to award a penalty kick during the Club World Cup semifinals.

Kashima Antlers midfielder Gaku Shibasaki sent in a free kick in the 31st minute, and teammate Daigo Nishi was then fouled inside the box by Atletico Nacional forward Orlando Berrio.

After receiving information about a missed incident from video assistant referee Danny Makkelie, Kassai drew an imaginary square with his hands to indicate that he would conduct a review of the footage via a monitor on the sidelines. Kassai then pointed to the penalty spot, ruling from the replay that Nishi was tripped inside the penalty area by Berrio.

Shoma Doi took the penalty and scored Kashima’s first goal in the 3-0 win, calmly putting a right-footed shot into the lower left corner of the net.

“The communication between the referee and the video assistant referee was clear, the technology worked well, and ultimately the final decision was taken by the referee, which will always be the case since the VARs are only there to support,” FIFA head of refereeing Massimo Busacca said in a statement.

Prior to Kassai’s penalty decision, the assistant referee called for the “wait and see” rule with regard to a player possibly being offside on the play. FIFA said the player was cleared because he was “unable to challenge the opponent for the ball.”

The replay system allows referees to halt games to review footage of “game-changing decisions.” They can also rely on information being fed by video assistant referees (VARs) watching broadcast feeds away from the field.

The South American champions dominated the first half but the momentum shifted to Kashima with the history-making call.

Live tests are set to be expanded globally in 2017 with a decision anticipated by the following year on VARs becoming a permanent feature. FIFA President Gianni Infantino, who has observed recent off-line trials with VARs at Italy games, wants video replays in use at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The system was introduced last week at the start of the Club World Cup but wasn’t used until Wednesday’s game.

In the final on Sunday, Kashima will play either Real Madrid or Club America.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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