Thanks to VAR, the World Cup record for most penalty kicks has been shattered in Russia 2018 group stage

With two more penalty kicks awarded in Monday's match between Iran and Portugal, a 28-year-old record has been broken. Twenty penalty kicks have now been awarded at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, with 15 of them being converted. The 1990, 1998 and 2002 tournaments all saw 18 penalty kicks. 

Part of the uptick has been due to the introduction of the video assistant referee (VAR) system, which is allowing remote officials new angles to call fouls, and slow motion cameras to determine fouls that are easy to miss at game speed.

In Brazil in 2014, just 13 penalties were awarded throughout the entire tournament.

The question now, of course, is just what influence VAR is having over these calls. Thus far, seven penalties have been awarded due to VAR.

The record-breaker was Ronaldo's penalty kick which was saved by Iranian keeper Alireza Beiranvand.

Another penalty kick in the 94th minute gave Iran the equalizer and broke the record.

The record for most converted kicks in one World Cup is 17 in '98. With the pace that they've been called so far in this Cup, there's a decent chance that that record will be shattered as well in the coming days.

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