The 2018 World Cup in Russia has already seen more penalties awarded than at the last tournament, with the impact of VAR clear.
South Korea’s Jang Hyun-soo conceded a spot-kick for handball against Mexico on Saturday, with Carlos Vela tucking away from 12 yards.
It was the 14th penalty given by referees at Russia 2018, one more than the total amount during the whole of Brazil 2014.
With VAR in place for the first time at the World Cup, a new record for spot-kicks awarded appears inevitable with the second round of group-stage games not yet complete.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 23, 2018
Since Opta began recording the data in 1966, the record for most penalties awarded at a World Cup stands at 18, which occurred in 1990, 1998 and 2002.
Of the 14 taken so far in Russia, 11 of them have been scored – Lionel Messi of Argentina, Iceland’s Gylfi Sigurdsson and Peru player Christian Cueva spurning their opportunities from the spot.
Just one penalty awarded on the field by a referee has been overturned following a review, with Brazil’s Neymar losing out against Costa Rica.
France, Australia, Sweden and Egypt are among the teams to have been given penalties after the use of VAR.
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