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    Furious Chile players threaten official protest over controversial penalty decisions – which were branded ‘robberies’ and saw referees accused of being ‘thieves’ – in bitter World Cup qualifying defeat by Uruguay

    • Luis Suarez put Uruguay 1-0 ahead from the penalty spot shortly before half time
    • The hosts benefitted from a VAR decision, which Chile’s players fumed about
    • Alexis Sanchez equalised but Maxi Gomez sealed an injury-time win for hosts 
    • Chile were raging after referee’s refusal to consider two of their penalty shouts 

    Chilean footballers berated South American referees and officials on Thursday after several penalty decisions went against them in a frustrating 2-1 loss to Uruguay in their opening World Cup qualifier in Montevideo.

    Luis Suarez got Uruguay’s first goal from the penalty spot shortly before half-time with the aid of the video assistant referee (VAR).

    In a repeat of the controversies that have troubled English football this season, the Paraguayan referee took a long time to review VAR but pointed to the spot after the ball bounced off Sebastian Vegas’ body and on to his arm as he slid in to block a shot.

    Maxi Gomez secured a last-gasp 2-1 victory for Uruguay over Chile in Montevideo

    Gomez slots home winner as Uruguay got World Cup qualifying campaign off to perfect start

    Gomez slots home winner as Uruguay got World Cup qualifying campaign off to perfect start

    Chile's players were fuming with the referee after several penalty decisions went against them

    Chile’s players were fuming with the referee after several penalty decisions went against them

    Arturo Vidal protests to the referee during Chile's bitter World Cup qualifying defeat

    Arturo Vidal protests to the referee during Chile’s bitter World Cup qualifying defeat

    Although Alexis Sanchez equalised for Chile early in the second half, substitute Maxi Gomez made it 2-1 in injury time to give the home side a barely-deserved win.

    The Chileans’ ire was exacerbated by the referee’s refusal to consider two of their own penalty claims, including one clear handball in the dying minutes of the match.

    The country’s union of professional footballers threatened to make an official protest to the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) over the ‘glaring lack of criteria’ used in the decisions.

    Inter Milan forward Alexis Sanchez celebrates after equalising for Chile in the 54th minute

    Inter Milan forward Alexis Sanchez celebrates after equalising for Chile in the 54th minute

    Luis Suarez had put Uruguay 1-0 ahead shortly before half time after a controversial decision

    Luis Suarez had put Uruguay 1-0 ahead shortly before half time after a controversial decision

    Current and former players, too, expressed their anger.

    Gary Medel, the captain who missed the game through injury, wrote on social media: ‘I’m saying nothing so I don’t get into trouble!! But that was terrible @CONMEBOL’

    And former striker Ivan Zamorano also took to Twitter.

    ‘How long are these robberies going to be allowed in South America,’ Zamorano wrote. ‘Real thieves. Match gifted to Uruguay.’

    The Atletico Madrid striker is pictured sending the keeper the wrong way from the penalty spot

    The Atletico Madrid striker is pictured sending the keeper the wrong way from the penalty spot

    The referee checks VAR monitor before giving a penalty to Uruguay, which Suarez converted

    The referee checks VAR monitor before giving a penalty to Uruguay, which Suarez converted

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