clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:


Ron Vlaar's huge missed PK for the Netherlands almost rolled back in

New, comment

Physics almost played a cruel trick on Argentina in the World Cup semifinal.

SB Nation's 2014 World Cup Final Preview

Many criticized the selection of defender Ron Vlaar to take the Netherlands' first penalty in their shootout loss to Argentina. Although Vlaar played excellently, the Aston Villa center back is far from a goalscorer, and certainly not a skilled penalty taker. His weak attempt was simple work for goalkeeper Sergio Romero, putting the Dutch in a hole they'd never crawl out of.

However, after looking at the replay, it appears Vlaar actually almost *did* score on a slice of luck that would've gone down in World Cup history:

After Romero's save, the ball had enough backspin on it to bring it back to the goal line, stopping juuuuuuuuuuuuuuust short of crossing. If the ball didn't touch Vlaar -- and it appears he may have dodged it -- then it would've been live, and a roll back into the net would have counted. Romero was off pounding his chest, celebrating his apparent save, and was completely unaware of the ball's goalward progress. He would've been helpless to stop it. Vlaar looks to have noticed at the last second there was a chance the ball could have gone in, but goes back to moping about his mistake after realizing it wouldn't.

Keepers tend to look away after saving penalties, since it's the one time they don't have to worry about a potential rebound. But they do have to worry about physics. So this has happened before, making keepers look silly:

But neither of those are anywhere near the level of a World Cup semifinal, so we can only imagine the reaction if the ball had rolled in instead of slowing to a halt.

Sorry for making Netherlands fans think about this more!