Ron Vlaar stepped up to take the Netherlands’ first all-important penalty kick against Argentina, much against Louis van Gaal’s plans. Two other players were his choices but they declined to go first, with Vlaar eventually agreeing to take it.
And when Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero saved the tame spot kick, Vlaar was distraught.
But as Romero moved away to celebrate, with cameras zooming in on the ecstatic faces of him and those in the Argentina team, what we didn’t see was the ball bouncing and rolling back toward the goal line.
This video clearly shows that the ball rolls back, but does it cross the line?
From this angle, it looked liked it did!
But here’s the catch: The ball touched Vlaar before rolling back towards the goal.
As you can see, although Vlaar tries to drop his shoulder to avoid making contact with the ball, it does get deflected off his shoulder.
Whether the ball would have rolled back anyway cannot obviously be used as an argument after Vlaar made contact, which is why his protests were rather diminished and the referee having no reaction to the incident (with no Goal Line Technology coming into the picture either), giving Argentina the advantage in the shootout.
UPDATE: The camera inside the goal shows that the ball did cross the line, but just a bit. Not enough to award the goal even if Vlaar did not touch it. It was the correct decision not to award the goal.