Did Ron Vlaar’s penalty in World Cup semi-final cross the line?

The Holland defender’s penalty was initially saved by Argentina’s Sergio Romero – but did it cross the line after bouncing?

When Sergio Romero wheeled away in celebration and the realisation hit Ron Vlaar that his failure to convert Holland’s first penalty had given Argentina an immediate advantage in Thursday night’s penalty shootout, the main broadcast feed cut to scenes of Dutch despair.

But alternative footage has appeared online which shows the ball rolling towards goal – spawning questions over whether his effort crossed the line or stopped millimetres short.

The Aston Villa defender can be seen gesturing to the referee, Cuneyt Cakir, who refuses to entertain his plea.

Vlaar, who performed brilliantly to keep Gonzalo Higuaín quiet through 120 minutes, was a surprise choice to take Holland’s first kick and struck his penalty straight down the middle, allowing the Argentina keeper to save.

Yet there is also a question over whether the ball touched Vlaar’s shoulder after bouncing.

It is difficult to be certain but this clip from a reverse angle suggests Vlaar dipped his shoulder just in time.

Rules state that the referee must wait for the ball to complete its path but Cakir did not make any attempt to check whether it had indeed crossed the line, presumably because his GoalControl technology would have detected the ball crossing the line.

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