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Germany vs. England World Cup: Jorge Larrionda again in spotlight

In the World Cup round of 16, Germany's surgical precision was too much for England in a 4-1 victory. British announcer Martin Tyler, calling the game for ESPN, said the Three Lions were "flattened," and who's to argue?

Game stats here, in-game commentary here, shot chart here.

But the game may be most remembered for Uruguayan referee Jorge Larrionda's horribly botched non-call on an obvious goal by England's Frank Lampard -- the ball was at least a yard over the line -- that cost the Three Lions what would have been the tying goal in the first half. In the end, the Germans were just too strong, but the course of the game could have changed if the goal was rightfully allowed.

Jorge Larrionda. Why does that name ring a bell?

Oh, right!

--In the 2009 Confederations Cup semifinal between the United States and Spain, he sent off the United States' Michael Bradley.

--In the 2006 World Cup, he sent off three players -- Italian Daniele De Rossi and Americans Pablo Mastroeni and Eddie Pope -- in the Italy-United States game, which tied the World Cup record.

--Later, in a 2006 semifinal between France and Portugal, he awarded a controversial penalty shot to France, which resulted in the only goal of the game.

--In 2002, he was suspended for six months by the Uruguayan football association, which cited unspecified "irregularities." This came two days after FIFA selected him as an official for the 2002 World Cup, which Larrionda missed.

Larrionda's howler likely will rev up the pleas to FIFA for some kind of instant replay. What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

By Matt Bonesteel  |  June 27, 2010; 11:48 AM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup , England , FIFA , Germany  
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Extra officials on the touchline (a la UEFA cup) would have been more than sufficient to make the correct call. Alternatively or in addition, there could be one or more officials positioned above the field, in direct contact with the center ref. Anyone in such a position could have spotted the goal.

There is no need whatsoever for replay or any other mechanical solution. There are already too many unnecessary interruptions in play.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | June 27, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

I would suggest instituting goal/no goal instant replay for the qualifying for the European championships which start this fall, and for the championships themselves. Every game in the qualifying is televised somewhere, so you got the cameras. Once you see how that goes, decide whether to institute it for World Cup qualifying and the World Cup.

I see replay as done entirely by an official watching from above the action. Play continues unless a call is changed, in which case play is stopped, and the ref is advised of the decision and how much time to put back on his watch. It is not difficult. Indisputable visual evidence standard, and if the replay official decides a call should stand, the crowd is told that too.

Posted by: Nemo24601 | June 27, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Actually, I could see a human goal line ref blowing that too, unless he had his eyes directly on the spot for the 1/10th of a second the ball was over. After all, the AR, who's job it is to see that, didn't look at the right spot at the right moment. Less likely a GL ref blows it, but still possible.

A chip and sensors, with a light on top of the goal should do the job.

Posted by: JkR- | June 27, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Goal line replays only. Maybe just a single goal judge standing next to one of the posts would be enough to see things like obvious handballs?

Posted by: rademaar | June 27, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

This game was such a mismatch that officiating was not a factor.

Posted by: paulkp | June 27, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

why can't the fourth official just sit in front of a monitor. the ref trusts the sideline judges to tell him about infractions they see with the naked eye, so what's wrong with hearing the fourth official's voice in his headset? he's wearing the thing anyway.

Posted by: troy6 | June 27, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Are the refs this blindly bad and/or incompetent, or are the matches that fixed?

In the NBA, everyone knows that when David Stern needs a series to go long or to help a team out, he assigns certain refs to work the game. In this sense, the NBA game is rigged.

International match soccer could have a similar problem.

Posted by: milevin | June 27, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

What Nemo said. FIFA needs an official monitoring a video screen and also needs retroactive punishment of divers. Botched goal calls and diving are ruining the game.

Posted by: grabowcp | June 27, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

unrelated, but i remember yesterday when the announcer said of the ghanaian time-wasting antics 'every team in the competition would do the same'? funny, because i didn't see any germans rolling around asking for the stretcher today. i'm glad to see a team winning through positive, attacking play and not resorting to cynical gamesmanship. i hope they win it all.

it's the biggest sporting event in the world, but these obvious wrong decisions on goals, and the spectacle of players diving, faking, cheating, and wasting time can make the world cup seem very cheap.

Posted by: stairs | June 27, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

The United States has been bounced so as far as I'm concerned the World Cup is over and it's time to get back to covering the United.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | June 27, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

ahahaha. PowerBoater, that's funny. I'm glad you're here with your the gimmick. It's very original.

Posted by: nairbsod | June 27, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Bye England! How bad would the EPL be without just half of it's foreign players?

Posted by: Hoost | June 27, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Its not fair to expect the center ref to see that goal. Its difficult for the linesman to see it too. There were not referee mistakes, these are FIFA mistakes.
Give the fourth official a video screen and review ONLY goal line calls. At the next stoppage he can award the goal or if a ref calls it a goal, before the play is started again he can review and call it off.

I hoped the game ended 2-1 so that FIFA would take this issue seriously. Since Germany dominated the rest of the game, it'll be too easy to brush this under the rug. Oh well.

Posted by: jake77 | June 27, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

It really does not matter. Geoff Hurst scored a goal in 1966 to help England win against West Germany in the final. That was actually not a goal, as proven by a study done by the Engineering faculty of the Oxford University. Does that taint England's only world cup success? No it does not.

What we have seen today was fluid German attacking football with precision passing against a disorganized display of pathetic football by the English. In the end, the superior team embarrassed the inferior one by 4-1. A deserved scoreline. Would it make any difference if it were 4-2? Absolutely not! And for all the rumblings from the pro-England critics who are "presuming" England would have bounced back had the 2nd goal been allowed, are simply building castles in the air. Did they even watch the match?! Germany outplayed England in every department. These young German lads deserve the victory. Thoroughly earned I would say.

And for the disallowed goal, I would say the best possible measure that can be taken, at least in such a high profile tournament is the addition of some kind of sensor that is used in Ice Hockey. This may be too high tech and expensive for local level soccer but for a FIFA World Cup, it's not much to ask for.

Posted by: randominitializer | June 27, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

First, the assistant referee was positioned exactly where he was supposed to be on the play--even with the last defender. However, that meant that he was about even with the top of the PA and nowhere near the right spot to accurately see whether or not the ball went over the line. Moreover, the keeper fell between the ball and AR meaning that the line of vision was blocked. So, all this said, it was a perfect example of why technology should be used.

FIFA is simply backward in its thinking, as well as inconsistent. They prohibit technology for the goal line, but allow technology to design and construct a ball with high tech features for every WC. Do balls for tennis, basketball, football, rugby, volleyball change like this? Utterly stupid, IMHO, to change something fundamental like the ball, but not allow something (new technology) that would improve belief in, enjoyment and acceptance of the game.

Posted by: lmorin | June 27, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

There should be a mechanism whereby obvious game-changing blunders can be reversed. It would be hard to call back the goal the US made against Slovenia as the ref had blown his whistle which, theoretically, could have changed how players played it. But in the case of the US goal vs. Algeria and England's vs. Germany, they were clear goals where there were no defenders in place to change the outcome. Stopping play and sending it upstairs for a review, in either case, would have been simple. It is crucial in soccer to review these when possible, as there are so few goals scored... with a single goal often being the difference. Failing to credit a proper goal also changes the strategy of the match thereafter, as today, England was forced to play forward, exposing it's backside for two more goals. There is no excuse to continue to rob teams of legitimate goals, unless FIFA intends to fix, or allow refs to fix its matches.

Posted by: SammyT1 | June 27, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Instant replay is well overdue in soccer. The NBA just implemented it, why can't FIFA or UEFA? And for those who say that Germany would have won regardless, that's a mistake... England was pushing so hard in the 2nd half because they were not tied and needed that equaliser. Had they been tied at the half 2-2, you could argue England would have won too. It's either a matter of parallel universes, indeterminacy, and complex cause and effect... or simple extra line judges, instant video replay, or goal sensing... take your pick!

Posted by: momofle | June 27, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Better question than whether the game needs replay:

Why does Jorge Larrionda still officiate international matches?

Posted by: benonthehill | June 27, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

The France PK in 2006 was a completely legit call. The Bradley red could have been yellow, but he lunged two footed, studs up, right past the ball and into a player's ankles. Very dangerous, usually a yellow, but not that unreasonable to be red. The Italy/USA game all the reds were reasonable, although the Pope one was maybe harsh. The Lampard goal was bad, but more of the linesman's fault than the center ref (and Blatter's for not allowing goal line tech). The center ref is on field level 40+ yards away, it was the assistant's call to make.

No idea about the Uruguay stuff, but it seems like this guy has made two slightly harsh calls that pissed off the US and that is it. Our players are used to the excessively lenient European and US refs and never seem to be able to adjust.

Posted by: Dancy1 | June 27, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Those are just the recent, high-profile calls. He's been an embarrassment as an official in international matches since long before 2002. Anyone who's been watching the game for a while ought to know that. Many watchers not surprised that "irregularities" surfaced.

Posted by: benonthehill | June 27, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

The Bradley red could have been yellow, but he lunged two footed, studs up, right past the ball and into a player's ankles.

Absolutely wrong.!v=h-GOkHYRK4E&feature=related

The play is at about the 3:45 mark. You can clearly see that he goes in with one foot, studs down. It's a little too blurry to see how much ball he gets, but it clearly wasn't even worth a yellow card.

Posted by: BooThisMan | June 27, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Does that taint England's only world cup success? No it does not.

That's just like, your opinion, man.

Would it make any difference if it were 4-2? Absolutely not!

It's a serious fallacy to presume that the rest of the game would have unfolded exactly as it did, had the goal been allowed.

Posted by: BooThisMan | June 27, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

And we've got another two weeks of the ad with Rooney and Ribery and Ronaldinho . . . .

Tevez is a stud BTW.

Posted by: OWNTF | June 27, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

In this year's WC, Brazil's Fabiano handled the ball in a group stage game, but the goal stood. Today, Argentina's Tevez was offsides but the goal stood. Contrast that with: Today, England's Lampard scored but the refs "didn't see" the ball cross, or the two good goals that the U.S. scored that were disallowed, or the good goal that Italy scored that would have sent them through the group stages. Brazil and Argentina always seem to get the calls. Maybe that's why FIFA has refused video replay, so that they can ensure that their chosen teams advance. This is nothing new. In the 2002 WC, Italy had five good goals disallowed (four in the group stages), including a would have been game winner against the home team South Koreans. Even the E$PN soccer analyst, Tommy Smyth, said today that they are making a farce out of the WC. No wonder soccer is not more popular here. Americans want equity and fairness, but when they watch the WC, they see bias and B.S.

Posted by: gatorz | June 27, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Too bad that call was botched. Germany had four goals fair and square against an England team with a non-existent midfield and a laughable defense.

But let them believe they are a great team that would have won this match. Typical England, always blame someone else instead of taking a critical look at their shortcomings and finally modernizing their game.

Posted by: cpwdc | June 27, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

"Americans want equity and fairness, but when they watch the WC, they see bias and B.S."

That's as laughable as the English defense! There are tons of bad calls in baseball, hockey and football - just ask the 1999 Sabres fans...

Posted by: cpwdc | June 27, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

"Americans want equity and fairness, but when they watch the WC, they see bias and B.S."

That's as laughable as the English defense! There are tons of bad calls in baseball, hockey and football - just ask the 1999 Sabres fans... or the pitcher who was robbed of a perfect game...

Posted by: cpwdc | June 27, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

I would have loved to see the Germans have the balls to give England the goal after seeing the replay at halftime. Imagine how long we'd be talking about that and the pressure it would put on FIFA.
I don't care if it's line judges like tennis, the chipped ball, or replay, something must change. To me those solutions are equal. FIFA's arguement about not having it at all levels is crap.

Posted by: travlindude | June 27, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

I would not support replay for anything else except goal/no-goal calls. But, come on! I think FIFA could take two minutes out of a game to check to see if a ball crossed the goal line.

They take 10 minutes per game to watch players fake injuries. Surely an extra couple of minutes out of the rare game where there is a close call on a goal is not too disruptive.

Plus, goals in Soccer/Football are unlike scores in just about any other sport because they are so relatively rare. If a bad call costs a basketball team a couple of points, or a hockey team a goal, or a baseball team a homerun, or an NFL team a touchdown catch, then it is much less likely to completely change the rest of the game and the outcome.

Oh, wait...

All those other sports I just mentioned already use replay to correct those kinds of bad calls.

The World Cup loves to call itself the biggest sports event in the World. Yet they allow allow clearly-unqualified officials to work matches. The result is an astonishingly-high number of matches decided by incorrect calls -- culminating in this latest denial of England's goal.

If The World Cup is truly the most important sporting event, then it is time for them to take advantage of every available option to make these matches fair, and above reproach. A good start would be adopting video replay.

Kevin Olson
Manassas, VA

Posted by: noslok | June 27, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Screw FIFA! - Why can't a totally new body (call it World Football for example) be formed with REFORMED and REFORMABLE rules to include (but not limited to the following): 1)Instant replay (1 min maximum), five per half with the minutes added at the end of the half 2) Yellow cards for shirt pulling of any kind 3) Suspensions for diving 4) Foul calls when defenders shield the attacker without having first controlled the ball - it is called obstruction in the open field, isn't it? 4) Two more goal area assistant referees 5) Active fourth official to enforce missed calls by central official ...
FIFA seems to be a stubborn cartel or worse!

Posted by: claudesf1 | June 27, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Sep Blatter or who ever is in charge at fifa these days needs to realise that 90% of soccer fans are in favour of goal line technology We have it in Rugby, We have it in Tennis, Hawkeye has been tried and tested in soccer and proposed to Fifa but they have dismissed the idea. A good example was last nights match Argentina vs Mexico when Tevez was clearly offside it had taken no more than 20 seconds to realise the mistake after a replay was accidentally shown on the screen but rules are rules which prevented the ref and linesman from disallowing the goal now who takes the flak it is certainly not fifa but the officials in charge of the match, now the fifth official was implemented in some of the uefa cup games where they were situated behind each goal why have they not introduced it for the world cup as it clearly worked?. As for England this was in all a disappointing world cup and in my opinion we should not have even got out of the group stages, and Germany exposed there weakness with staggering brutality,there was something a miss for England in 2010 and i hope Fabio capello stays and gets to the root of the problem

Posted by: DezUK | June 28, 2010 4:04 AM | Report abuse

It was obvious to all that the referee Spinosa should have allowed the Lampard's goal?
Why didn't he do this?
These referees spend hours and hours to prepare themselves and what is the result - a huge mistake.
It seems that FIFA's referees are becoming more and more like camel riding half-whitted illiterates!!!!

Posted by: ivaylo_1982 | June 28, 2010 4:28 AM | Report abuse

A huge mistake, but one that in the end means nothing. England was being dominated by the Germans and had the goal stood, the Germans would still have scored more. Lalas was so right when he repeatedly said only England thinks England is that good. They simply were not a contender.
On the refs-FIFA loves the controversy, first the balls, now the calls. If you don't think it's part of the game don't watch, FIFA won't notice.

Posted by: NICKYNUNYA | June 28, 2010 6:23 AM | Report abuse

The world cup shouldn't be decided by a referee's mistake! When a goal is scored play stops. Quickly reveiw any disputed goal by video to make sure the ref called it right. SIMPLE!

The refs have already made more than one mistake which taints the outcome of the tournament!

Posted by: sbf845 | June 28, 2010 7:55 AM | Report abuse

yes ,on a world stage ,replay HAS to be implemented..there is just too much at stake ...please FIFA ...if your going to Preach "fair play" please follow your statement with some actions

Posted by: diego99999 | June 28, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

I've been one of the minority of US Soccer fans for years, and I won't even watch the World Cup next time if there's no instant replay.

The amount of absolutely tragic, game affecting calls this year have been ridiculous.

Of course there was the "fantom foul" that cost the US a win. Then the Brazilian dribbling the ball with his hands in the box before scoring. Argentina's mile-off-sides goal against Mexico.

These refs are some of the most incompetent refs I've ever seen in my life. Here's how reffing in the modern age should work in all sports:

There should be one single ref on the field, and 20 refs in the booth watching a live high-def feed, one for every single player on the field excluding keepers.

Any foul committed the ref pushes a button, alerts the field ref, who stops play.

On any foul involving a scoring play, or a possible penalty kick, before making the final call, all 20 refs should quickly review the play in the booth and have to agree with the call by majority.

This could easily be done with modern technology.

Posted by: Gover | June 28, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

They allow players to stop play when they fake injuries on the field (at LEAST a dozen times a game), but wont review a controversial play because of "time stoppage"?

Hello... they ADD TIME AT THE END OF THE GAME ANYWAY. Just add more.

The time stoppage argument holds no water.

This sport just loses more and more legitimacy the more I experience it.

Posted by: trident420 | June 28, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Even with a ref, sometimes the ball just moves too fast to see what happened clearly. Install instant replay to verify goals scored or goals disallowed. In either case the replay would hardly change the continuity of the game.

Posted by: carbon916 | June 28, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

WC has devolved from goal = ball in net, to goal = referee decision. How many must they miss before this ceases to be an actual sport?

Posted by: kieran2001 | June 29, 2010 8:21 AM | Report abuse

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