Harry Kane was denied a dramatic last-minute winner against Sporting Lisbon that would have sent Tottenham to the last 16 of the Champions League after a lengthy VAR check ruled out his goal for offside.
Kane fired home from an Emerson Royal header to spark some wild celebrations, but VAR ruled the England captain was in an offside position to see the game end 1-1 when Spurs boss Antonio Conte was ejected because of his protests against the decision.
Can you be offside on a backward pass?
Yes. If the ball is passed backwards, but the receiving player is in front of the ball when it is played, he may still be offside when he receives the ball. In this case, Kane’s offside position was not reset, as the deflection that put the ball in Kane’s path is not considered an intentional action. Rarely seen, and a painful one, but despite the protests of the Spurs – Eric Dier shouted: “The ball went backwards!” to officials after the game – this was done by the book.
Rodrigo Bentancur tied late for Spurs (79) to wipe out the first half of former Tottenham forward Marcus Edward (22) in the first half.
The draw keeps Tottenham at the top of Group D but leaves any hopes of Champions League last 16 qualifiers on the line, with Conte’s side needing a draw in Marseille on Tuesday to send them through.
How Spurs missed a chance to reach the last 16
Tottenham went into the game knowing that a win would have guaranteed them a place in the knockout stage, but they got off to a bad start when Edwards came back to chase them.
The Englishman, who left Spurs in September 2019 after 13 years at the club but made only one appearance in the first season, scored a fine first-half opener when he played a neat one-two with Paulinho, then fired from approx. 25 yards into the bottom corner. .
Conte’s side failed to create any real chances as they were booed at halftime, as they were in Sunday’s 2-1 defeat to Newcastle.
Tottenham upped their game in the second half, but only leveled off with 10 minutes to go when Bentancur headed home the corner from Ivan Perisic.
Eric Dier then missed two late chances to score a winner against his old club, both looking wide with his head, while Bentancur knocked over one in stoppage time.
But on the final kick of the match, Kane dramatically thought he’d won it over Spurs, only for a lengthy VAR check to deny him and send Conte apoplectic on the sidelines, with the Italian being shown a red card.
Tottenham, who have had a poor away record in Europe in recent seasons, now have to go to Marseille next week and at least get a draw to qualify for the last 16.
Tottenham travel to Bournemouth in the Premier League on Saturday; kick off at 3 p.m. Their final match in the Champions League group stage is a trip to Marseille on Tuesday.
Sporting Lisbon will play arouca in the Primeira Liga on Saturday for the reception Eintracht Frankfurt Tuesday in the Champions League.