The Dutch defender Ron Vlaar was the first to take, and miss, a penalty in the World Cup semi-final that saw Holland crash out to Argentina. But video reveals how close he was to actually scoring.
Ron Peter Vlaar was the first in the Dutch team to walk up to the penalty spot and try his skills against the Argentine goal keeper Sergio Romero. Many were surprised at this selection – and when Ron Vlaar failed to score, Holland were immediately set on the back foot that ultimately saw them knocked out of the World Cup.
But images from various angles show that after the penalty was taken and both Ron Vlaar and Romero had their backs turned in, respectively, delight and despair, the ball appears to drift back into towards the line.
This footage on Vine shows that the ball comes agonisingly close to crossing the line, but appears to settle on the white stripe. In the background Ron Vlaar can be seen to double-take, then takes a few steps to the goal line before accepting his fate.
Others have speculated that the ball only drifts back towards the goal because it rebounded off Ron Vlaar after Romero’s save – suggesting it deflected off his shoulder.
Had this been the case, that would have immediately discounted any goal as the penalty taker is not allowed to touch the ball after he has kicked it.
However, more footage seems to show that Ron Vlaar was deft enough to dip his shoulder and avoid contact – meaning that had the ball had a tiny bit more momentum, it could very possibly have been a goal.
Holland were knocked out of the World Cup by Argentina. The score was 0-0, and Argentina won 4-2 on penalties.
Fifa’s rules state that:
The player taking the penalty kick must kick the ball forward
He must not play the ball again until it has touched another player
The ball is in play when it is kicked and moves forward
When a penalty kick is taken during the normal course of play, or time has been extended at half-time or full time to allow a penalty kick to be taken or retaken, a goal is awarded if, before passing between the goalposts and under the crossbar
the ball touches either or both of the goalposts and/or the crossbar and/or the goalkeeper
The referee decides when a penalty kick has been completed.
Other goalies have been filmed in the past celebrating prematurely while, unbeknownst to them, the ball has found its way into the net behind them.