Unlucky penalty adds to Coentrao’s disappointing year
The disappointments have been piling up for Real Madrid defender Fabio Coentrao this year, and the latest nearly cost his team a win in the Champions League.
With Madrid leading 10-man Sporting Lisbon 1-0 on Tuesday in Portugal, Coentrao was called for a hand-ball — one of the most unusual penalty calls ever.
He was defending Joel Campbell when the ball appeared to bounce off the hand of the Sporting forward, prompting Coentrao to immediately raise both of his arms to demand a foul. But the moment his arms went up, Campbell attempted a back heel pass and the ball glanced off Coentrao's right arm just inside the penalty area.
The referee blew the whistle and pointed to the penalty spot, with Coentrao looking on in awe.
Adrien Silva converted the 80th-minute penalty to even the match at 1-1, and Madrid needed an 87th-minute goal by Karim Benzema to salvage a victory that left the defending champions with a chance to still finish first in Group F when it hosts leader Borussia Dortmund in December.
Coentrao had entered the match just nine minutes before the penalty, replacing the injured Marcelo.
Earlier this year, an injury that kept Coentrao from playing for Portugal at the European Championship. Then there were poor performances that left him on the bench at Real Madrid. And now the embarrassing penalty.