Wílmar Barrios' headbutt on England midfielder Jordan Henderson should have seen the Colombia man sent off for "violent conduct", according to referee Mark Clattenburg.
Henderson's Three Lions team-mate were visibly furious with what they felt was a clear display of violent conduct, as were England fans across social media, while referee Mark Geiger viewed the incident as worthy of a yellow card only.
Speaking at half-time, former Premier League referee Clattenburg explained the referee's decision to caution Barrios but conceded that the US official made a mistake and that the Colombia man should have seen red.
"Clearly England aren't getting any justice with the VAR system," Clattenburg told ITV. "Clearly the referee hasn't seen it.
"The defender puts his head into Henderson's chest which is a yellow card. But then he moves his head up which is violent conduct.
"I'd rather see the referee go to the video review area and make the correct decision which was a red card."
Harry Kane fired England into a 1-0 lead after scoring a penalty midway through the second half, following a foul on him from a set piece.
England or Colombia will face Sweden in the quarter-finals, and a Croatia or Russia semi-final awaits for the winner of that tie.
On the other side of the draw, Brazil, Uruguay, France and Belgium will compete for a spot in the finals of the Russian tournament.