Eight Moments When Soccer Really Could Have Used Goal-Line Technology
Looking back at the worst calls (and non-calls) on the goal line
FIFA has confirmed that goal-line technology will be used at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Better late than never, many are saying. Here are eight controversial moments from through the years where the game might have benefited from the technology.
1. Geoff Hurst, England-Germany, 1966 World Cup final
The greatest goal in English history staked the Three Lions to a 3-2 lead (which they increased) in the 1966 World Cup final against Germany, but did the entire ball cross the line? No matter. England went on to lift their first and only title in the first World Cup broadcast in the United States.
2. Pedro Mendes, Tottenham-Manchester United, 2005
When the Tottenham midfielder hit a shot 45 yards from goal, United goalkeeper Roy Carroll tried to catch the ball but it squirted through at least a yard over the line. Neither the referee nor the linesman saw it. One of the most outrageous non-calls in Premier League history played no small role in the movement toward goal-line technology.
3. Frank Lampard, England-Germany, 2010 World Cup Round of 16
Lampard’s rocket from outside the penalty box caromed down off the crossbar — at least two feet inside the line — but was disallowed because the assistant referee did not call for a goal. FIFA president Sepp Blatter would later apologize to England’s Football Association and the episode is credited with the reopening of the debate for goal-line technology.
4. Juan Mata, Chelsea-Tottenham, 2011 FA Cup semifinal
Emmanuel Adebayor claimed the lack of goal-line technology was “killing the game” after Mata’s “ghost goal” was allowed to stand despite it being cleared from the mouth of the net before crossing the line. Spurs manager Harry Redknapp accused the referee of “guessing” and classified the official decision as a “disaster.”
5. Freddie Sears, Crystal Palace-Bristol City, 2010
Sears, a Crystal Palace striker, knocked the ball over the line from close range, but the ball bounced off the stanchion below the net and then came back out. Somehow the goal was not given — everyone but the ref seemed to know it was good — and fans of the London club were rightly furious.
6. Clive Allen, Crystal Palace-Coventry City, 1980
Crystal Palace doesn’t have much luck with those stanchions, huh?
7. Jonathan Howard, Chesterfield-Middlesbrough, 1997 FA Cup semifinal
Second-division minnows Chesterfield made an inspired run to the FA Cup semis only to be denied a perfectly legal goal in a 3-3 draw with Middlesbrough. Referee David Elleray waved away the protests and remains the scourge of all YouTube comments sections documenting this thrilling cup tie. They’d lose 3-0 in the replay.
8. Clint Hill, Bolton-Queens Park Rangers, 2012
Assistant referee Bob Pollock failed to award Hill his first Premier League goal despite the ball crossing the line by nearly two feet.