France benefits from first key use of goal tech

World Cup, France, Soccer, Honduras
Honduras players complain to referee Sandro Ricci from Brazil after he awarded a goal to France using goal line technology during the group E World Cup soccer match between France and Honduras at the Estadio Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre, Brazil, Sunday, June 15, 2014. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil (AP) — France benefited from the first decisive use of goal-line technology at the World Cup on Sunday when the team was awarded a goal in its match against Honduras, which the French went on to win 3-0.

With France leading 1-0, Karim Benzema’s shot hit the far post and rebounded to Honduras goalkeeper Noel Valladares, who fumbled the ball into the goal.

The seven video cameras trained on the goal established that the ball had briefly crossed the line by a few inches, alerting the referee on his watch with a flashing “GOAL,” before the ball was pushed out again by Valladares.

An own goal against Valladares was awarded, making the score 2-0 to France in the 48th minute.

But there was some confusion seconds before when the system showed replays of Benzema’s shot hitting the post with the verdict “NO GOAL” before continuing to show the actual goal. The change infuriated the Honduras players, some of whom remonstrated with referee Sandro Ricci, while Honduras coach Luis Suarez bickered with France coach Didier Deschamps. At the end of the match, they hugged and made up.

The technology is being used for the first time at a major international football tournament.

France also benefited from the first ever Golden Goal at a World Cup when defender Laurent Blanc scored late into extra time in the second round against Paraguay in 1998 — the year it won the tournament.

Benzema scored France’s two other goals.

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