After obvious confirmations of penalty kicks and other clear goals, we have ourselves a World Cup goal-line technology talking point.
In the second half of France's clash with Honduras in Porto Alegre, striker Karim Benzema's volley attempt pinged off the inside of the far post, then off Honduras' Noel Valladares and in for a brief moment, before the goalkeeper could swipe it out. This is what goal-line technology confirmed in the first point of contention for the game's newest tool being used on its grandest stage.
But did the ball fully cross the goal line?
Video replay after video replay and screengrab after screengrab showed a very close call, one almost too inclusive to tell to the naked eye. That, of course, is why the technology is in place.
So incredibly close. Camera angle isn't perfect, though. That's why technology exists. | France 2-0 Honduras | 53' pic.twitter.com/iSyc1QQP6S— Liviu Bird (@liviubird) June 15, 2014
Another look. Exactly why the system is as it is, a microchip and not video replay. | France 2-0 Honduras | 55' pic.twitter.com/AC1yMN9j52— Liviu Bird (@liviubird) June 15, 2014
France led 1-0 at the time of the decision, while also being a man up after Wilson Palacios was sent off at the end of the first half for his second yellow card. Les Bleus were in complete control even without the second goal, making the decision considerably less controversial than Frank Lampard's no-goal against Germany in the 2010 round of 16.
With Germany leading England 2-1 at the time, replays showed a would-be equalizer for the England midfielder clearly crossed the line, despite referees ruling it hadn't. The decision is one of a number that sparked the rule change. And even with it in place, some skepticism remains. Not, of course, to the one who would know above all others:
Trust me. Goal. #ballin— brazuca (@brazuca) June 15, 2014