Diogo Jota denied Portugal winner by offside call that puts Premier League to shame

Diogo Jota thought he had headed Portugal to victory over the Czech Republic on Tuesday night, only for a swift offside call to rule his effort out.

Jota did not start Portugal’s Euro 2024 opener, but was sent on immediately after the Czech Republic took a surprise lead through Lukas Provod just after the hour mark.

The Liverpool striker replaced Rafael Leao, with regularly linked defender Goncalo Inacio also brought on for Man United‘s Diogo Dalot.

Portugal levelled soon after via an unfortunate own goal from Robin Hranac, with Jota a bright presence in the final third, harrying Czechia defenders and setting Bernardo Silva up for a chance on goal.

And with three minutes remaining of normal time, the 27-year-old was in the right place at the right time to head in after Cristiano Ronaldo’s effort rebounded off the post.

Jota grabbed the ball from Czechia goalkeeper Jindrich Stanek in order to wheel out a celebration that suggests his partner, Rute Cardoso, is expecting their third child.

Only the goal was soon ruled out by semi-automated offside technology, with the decision made in just 11 seconds – in a stark reminder of the farce that fans had to endure without it in the Premier League.

Fortunately, the upcoming campaign will see the technology introduced for the first time in the English top flight, which will hopefully remove the painfully long VAR reviews for tight offsides.

Though Jota’s effort was chalked off, Portugal eventually sealed the victory through tournament debutant Francisco Conceicao, who finished well at close range in the second minute of stoppage time.

It was a bitter blow to Czechia, who had Liverpool goalkeeper Vitezslav Jaros on the bench.

The win put Portugal second in Group F after the first round of matches, with Turkey top after their 3-1 victory over Georgia earlier in the evening.

Wednesday brings the start of the second round of fixtures, with Croatia vs. Albania (2pm), Germany vs. Hungary (5pm) and Scotland vs. Switzerland (8pm).