The fourth day of the 2014 FIFA World Cup taking place in Brazil has been marked by a referee’s historical decision made during a Group E match between France and Honduras national teams. For the first time ever, the automatic goal-line technology played a key role in determining the score.
On the 48th minute, French front man Karim Benzema hit the ball, which came back off touching Honduras goalkeeper Noel Valladares and jumped over the line. The goalkeeper pushed the ball back into the field. The goal-line technology showed that the ball crossed the goal line while flying in the air, and France scored 2:0.
As a result, the match finished with a significant victory of the French squad (3:0). In the first time, the rivals played head-to-head, but the Latin American team failed because of its captain, the experienced Wilson Palacios. First, Tottenham’s ex-player confronted Paul Pogba, which resulted in yellow cards for both, and in the end of the time he received a penalty by knocking Pogba off his feet in the penalty box. Palacios received the second yellow card, then the red one, and was sent off. Benzema confidently converted the penalty and made the score 1:0.The goal-line technology is used for the first time at the World Cup. It has been installed at all the 12 Brazilian stadiums hosting the tournament matches between June 12 and July 13.
In the second time, the French stepped up and put the squeeze on the rivals. Aside from the goal on the 48th minute, Benzema scored another time, on the 72th minute.
In addition, the match was remembered by an organizational failure. Ahead of the game, the national anthems of the countries were not played. FIFA management explained this by a failure of the stadium’s audio system and pledged to fix the problem.
Issues also aroused before the first game of the match day between Switzerland and Ecuador in Brasilia. Thousands of fans missed the first time because of a long queue on the stadium’s entrance. The promoters referred to some technical issues on the stadium’s gates, but also reproached the Brazilian fans for their habit not to hurry up and to do everything at the last gasp.
However, football fans were recompensed with a dramatic end of the match. When the three extra minutes were almost over, Swiss midfielder Valon Behrami counter attacked and played the ball to Haris Seferović, who brought victory to his team (2:1).
Meanwhile, the Ecuadorian team opened the score. On the 22nd minute, when the ball was served from the penalty area, Enner Valencia won the battle on top and opened the score with a header in British style. The Swiss took vengeance in the same mode. On the 48th minute, after serving the ball from the corner, the ball hit the goal net of the Ecuadorians from the head of Admir Mehmedi, who recently came off the substitute’s bench in the beginning of the time.
In the last match of the day, one of the tournament’s favorites, Argentina’s national team had difficulties in winning over World Cup debutant Bosnia and Herzegovina, and scored 2:1. The score was opened on the third minute. Lionel Messi sent the ball from the penalty arc to the six-yard box, and Bosnian guard Sead Kolašinac touched the ball with his foot scoring a goal for Argentina. The missed goal, however, did not confuse the championship’s debutants. They took control over the ball and actively played on the opposite side of the field.
Step by step, the Argentines leveled the game, but combinations failed. Messi was trying to outmaneuver the rival’s guards on his own, but they solidly blitzed the fourfold Ballon d'Or winner and did not let him acting freely.
After the break, head coach of Argentina’s national squad Alejandro Sabella enforced the attacking part by sending Iguain into the field instead of midfielder Maxi Rodríguez. In addition, midfielder Fernando Gago substituted guard Hugo Campagnaro. However, the Bosnians started the second time more actively by putting pressure on the rival on every area of the field. They took every chance to shoot for goal, but the Argentine goalkeeper never failed.
Argentine footballers managed to score a goal despite the pressure. The goal was scored by Messi, who precisely shot the ball from the penalty arc, and it ricocheted from the post to get into the goal net. This was only the second goal at the World Cup for the award-winning player. It is noteworthy that the Bosnians did not give up and managed to save a goal 5 minutes before the end. Substituting Vedad Ibišević shot for goal, touching the ball from a sharp angle and sending it right between the goalkeeper’s knees. Nevertheless, the Bosnians could not get to do more.
Another, non-game milestone of this day was a boycott announced by Croatian footballers against their journalists for a peculiar reason. The athletes took offence as the paparazzi shot them naked in the swimming pool and published the images on the internet. Several photographers hid in the bushes near the team’s base and took the ‘erotic’ shots. “How would you feel if someone publishes your pictures like this?” manager Niko Kovac resented. “The whole world saw these photos.”