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Oh man. Oh man, oh man, oh man. This would have been such a ridiculous thing. Sergio Romero made two saves in Argentina's win over the Netherlands and this is the first one, on the day's first attempt, from Ron Vlaar. In this video first flagged by Slate, we see another angle that shows Romero making the initial save but, oh my god, the ball trickles back toward the goal line and stops almost exactly on the line.


Romero had no idea. He was walking off celebrating the save and feeling good enough to stop another Dutch attempt two shots later, from Wesley Sneijder. Who knows how things change if that ball kept rolling just a little bit more, but there would have been talking points to spare. If Netherlands won because of this goal, or because Romero was shellshocked, he would surely have been painted as a show-boating goat.

Another video angle shows Vlaar possibly touching the ball after it's been blocked but before it starts its roll back to the goal.

Vlaar dips his shoulder as the ball gets close to him, which you can also see in the top video. There's so much english on the ball already it's hard to say the spin back to the goal was definitely caused by touching Vlaar, but who knows? Vlaar knows he can't touch it and looks to get out of the way and then seems genuinely surprised as the ball slowly make its way toward the line and re-devastated when it stops just short of crossing it.

If it had gone in, goal line technology probably alerts the referees and Vlaar is awarded the goal, but then that second clip would be even more scrutinized. In the end, though, Ball Don't Lie and we just have ourselves a quintessentially sports moment: holy shit, what if?

[ Slate]

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