When Karim Benzema’s shot rocketed off the post and into the surprised arms of Noel Valladares, it was too hot to handle for the Honduran goalkeeper.
Or was it?
As the ball trickled into the net, the French striker began to celebrate, confirmation from the referee’s watch that the ball had indeed trickled into the net.
It marked the first major use of goal-line technology in World Cup play. The microchip was only installed this year for the first time.
Replays proved to be inconclusive, but that’s what goal-line technology is there for, and the World Cup is clearly better for it. Thanks to the iffy TV replays, some complained on social media that the technology doesn’t work, and others (such as BBC’s Jonathan Pearce) had trouble reading the outcome.
The only point of controversy may be the advertised margin of error on the use of goal-line technology. In an article on South Carolina’s The State last week, GoalControl head man Dirk Broichhausen said the margin of error is officially +/- 1.5 cm, but is more realistically around +/- 0.5 cm. The goal surely looked of a slimmer margin than that.
Either way, the French were well on top and deserved the goal, and they continue to rip Honduras apart as the game progresses into the latter stages of the second half.
Here are shots from the replays. The camera angles aren’t perfect, and the thickness of the posts exaggerate the imperfection, proving that cameras aren’t nearly as conclusive as the microchip.
There is one who knows it went in for sure:
<a class=”twitter-follow-button” href=”https://twitter.com/the_bonnfire”>Follow @the_bonnfire</a>
Catch up on all of Friday’s EURO qualification action, as two more teams have booked a ticket to France.
Spain 4-0 Luxembourg
Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla hadn’t scored a competitive goal for Spain in more than six years, but he scored twice today to help earn his country a berth in EURO 2016. Cazorla and Paco Alcacer scored all four goals for the Spanish, while Chelsea’s Cesc Fabregas became Spain’s all-time leader in assists. However, both David Silva of Manchester City and Alvaro Morata of Juventus were forced off with injuries, with Morata’s looking to be serious.
Switzerland 7-0 San Marino
Switzerland led just 1-0 at halftime, but a six-goal second half which included three penalty kicks means the Swiss have secured qualification from Group E for EURO 2016. As expected, Switzerland dominated every aspect of the match against minnows San Marino, and Vladimir Petkovic’s side had seven different goalscorers.
[ MORE: Thursday’s EURO 2016 roundup — Northern Ireland qualify ]
England 2-0 Estonia
England remained perfect in Group E, taking their ninth win from nine matches today at Wembley. Theo Walcott‘s great scoring form from Arsenal carried over to the national side, opening the scoring just before halftime. In the second half, Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy came on as a substitute and assisted to Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling, who made it 2-0. With a few minutes to play, Tottenham teenager Dele Alli got a short run in his England debut.
Elsewhere in EURO qualifying
Macedonia 0-2 Ukraine
Slovakia 0-1 Belarus
Slovenia 1-1 Lithuania
Liechtenstein 0-2 Sweden
Moldova 1-2 Russia
Montenegro 2-3 Austria
After scoring five goals against Newcastle United, Sergio Aguero may have to wait a bit of time to get back to scoring in the Premier League.
The Manchester City striker lasted just 25 minutes in Argentina’s World Cup qualifier on Thursday, as he was stretchered off with a hamstring injury.
Aguero underwent testing in Argentina, and told the local media “I think I’m going to be out for a month.”
[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]
Manchester City and Argentina teammate Nicolas Otamendi said Aguero was in tears in the dressing room, and some reports have penned the injury as a torn hamstring.
If Aguero were to be ruled out for a month, he would miss City’s Champions League clash vs. Sevilla, as well as the massive Manchester derby away at United on October 25.
To make matters worse for City supporters, David Silva was forced off after just ten minutes while playing for Spain today. Silva took a harsh challenge from behind, and hobbled off with what looked to be an ankle injury. If Silva’s injury ends up being more than just a knock, City could be without their two most important players in the attack.