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Argentina goalkeeper almost left red-faced

ESPN staff
July 11, 2014

Ron Vlaar's saved spot-kick in the Netherlands' penalty shootout defeat to Argentina in the semi-finals of the World Cup came agonisingly close to crossing the line.

The Aston Villa centre-back stepped up to take the Netherlands' first penalty, only to see his effort saved by Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero as they went on to lose 4-2.

However, Vlaar's penalty almost spun back past Romero and crossed the line as the goalkeeper wheeled away in celebration while Vlaar was left devastated.

FIFA states in their rules: "A kick is successful if, having been touched once by the kicker, the ball crosses the goal line between the goal posts and under the crossbar, without touching any player, official, or outside agent other than the defending goalkeeper.

"The ball may touch the goalkeeper, goal posts, or crossbar any number of times before going into the goal as long as the referee believes the ball's motion is the result of the initial kick."

Lucky for Romero that the ball didn't cross the line then.

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