Hungarian referee Viktor Kassai awarded a penalty at the FIFA Club World Cup today after reviewing a video replay ©Getty Images

Hungarian referee Viktor Kassai awarded a historic penalty during the FIFA Club World Cup semi-final between Kashima Antlers and Atletico Nacional today as he used a TV replay to aid him in a vital decision.

Last week it was confirmed that video assistance would be available to support referees with "match-changing" decisions for the first time in a FIFA competition.

This trial sees video assistant referees (VARs) given access to all broadcast feeds inside a video operations room, enabling them to provide information to the referee on the field of play in order to correct clear mistakes in "match-changing" situations.

The decision came with half an hour gone and the match still goalless, when Kashima's Daigo Nishi tumbled to the ground inside the box after tangling with Atletico defender Orlando Berrio at a free kick.

Kassai failed to notice the incident but ran to the touchline after being alerted to the potential foul by the VAR, where he was able to watch a replay of what happened before awarding the Japanese side a penalty.

“This is the first-ever live trial with Video Assistant Referees at a FIFA competition so this is something that is new for everyone – especially to see the referee run to the video replay area at the side of the field,” said Massimo Busacca, FIFA’s Head of Refereeing.

“In the incident tonight, the communication between the referee and the video assistant referee was clear, the technology worked well, and ultimately the final decision was taken by the referee, which will always be the case since the VARs are only there to support.”

Shouma Doi converted the resulting spot kick to put the host nation side 1-0 ahead after their Colombian opponents dominated much of the first half.

In an action-packed opening period, Atletico dominated possession and chances, with Miguel Borja seeing a threatening right-footed volley saved on 21 minutes. 

Moments later, Mateus Uribe's effort flew inches shy of the post.

Jhon Mosquera then hit the crossbar for the 2016 Copa Libertadores winners, while Orlando Berrio's scissor-kick was cleared off the line by Gen Shoji on 23 minutes before the Japanese side took the lead.

Moments after scoring the penalty Kashima went close again when Naomichi Ueda was denied by a diving left-handed save from goalkeeper Franco Armani. 

In the second half, the Colombians continued to look dangerous going forward.

Borja charged into the box and tried to squeeze an effort past Hitoshi Sogahata at the near post, but the shot-stopper was quick to parry the ball away.

Substitute Cristian Dajome then blasted an effort over the bar after a wayward shot landed in his path in front of goal. 

After Alejandro Guerra charged into the area and had a close-range effort denied, Kashima grabbed a second through Yasushi Endo as he turned and emphatically back-heeled the ball into the net.

Yasushi Endo of Kashima Antlers celebrates after scoring his side's second goal ©Getty Images
Yasushi Endo of Kashima Antlers celebrates after scoring his side's second goal ©Getty Images

Before the Colombians had a chance to respond, they found themselves trailing by three goals.

Substitute Mu Kanazaki, proving a handful with his threatening runs in the second half, launched a low ball across the face of goal where Suzuki was waiting to tap home at the far post.

"We have made it to the final, which is an achievement for Kashima Antlers and Japanese football as a whole," said Kashima coach Masatada Ishii.

"It is a whole new story for us and I’m delighted about that.

"We really wanted to go and win this game, and all the players were committed and contributed to the win."

The second of the semi-finals is scheduled for tomorrow when UEFA Champions League winners Real Madrid take on Mexico's Club America.

Meanwhile, in the other match today, Jeonbuk Hyundai of South Korea defeated Mamelodi Sundowns 4-1 in a fifth place play-off.