Sports / Soccer

World Cup highlights: Germany win 'for Schumi'

( Updated: 2014-06-17 14:14

Free kick encroachment vanishes

World Cup highlights: Germany win 'for Schumi'

In addition to the World Cup's first affirmative use of goal-line technology that saw one of the three goals France scored against Honduras confirmed by camera, a far simpler innovation is making its presence felt.

A simple can of "vanishing spray" is being employed by referees to prevent the age-old tactic of defensive walls edging forward at free kicks.

Now, when a free kick is awarded near the penalty area the referee sprays a circle around the ball and paces out 10 yards from the site of the infringement.

A line is then sprayed on the pitch marking the position where the defensive wall must stand.

The marks disappear within a minute and so far the system has stopped the incessant shuffling forward of defenders and at the same time prevented players earning yellow cards.

Employed previously in Brazil and Argentina in domestic football, the vanishing spray was trialled at international level during last summer's Under-20 World Cup and also featured at the Club World Cup in December before getting the green light for the showpiece tournament in Brazil.

Germany win 'for Schumi'

World Cup highlights: Germany win 'for Schumi'

Germany beat Portugal 4-0 as if in celebration of the news that Formula 1 driver Michael Schumacher had at last woken from an induced coma.

Schumacher, 45, suffered severe head trauma in a skiing accident at the French Alps resort of Meribel on December 29 and has been in a coma since.

He has been transferred from a hospital in Grenoble, France to the University hospital in Lausanne, Switzerland.

His friend, Germany midfielder Lukas Podolski, said at a post-match press conference that Schumacher would be pleased with the win.

It seemed that the seven-time world champion whose F1 career ended in 2012  was keen to witness the victory. "Schumacher is not in a coma anymore", said spokeswomen Sabine Kehm.

US scores fastest goal in Rio

World Cup highlights: Germany win 'for Schumi'

United States captain and midfielder Clint Dempsey netted his side's opening goal after just 29 seconds, the fifth quickest in the tournament's 84-year history.

He received a flick from Jermaine Jones, rounded John Boye and drove home to give the US a 1-0 lead over Ghana.

The fastest goal in a World Cup finals was scored by Turkey's  Hakan Sukur against South Korea after just 10.8 seconds in 2002.

While the top four quickest goals are all credited to Europeans, Dempsey's lightening strike was the fastest from a non-European in World Cup history. 

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