The best offside goal misses | A commentator’s view

It has been said you never really get over a loss. So what if it is by your terms? Rightfully, you are angry and disappointed.

Can it be any different for another team? Even the great ones? We are talking about South Africa. The world champions. The man of the match. The man who was meant to win them the tournament. But, alas, not even the best team of all time can win every time. Never. We’ve been down this road before, of course. You see the stories all the time. Vinnie Jones and his knuckle duster against Argentina in the ’88 World Cup. Clint Dempsey’s own goal against Jamaica in the ’86 World Cup. Brian Carney’s cry for the referee against France in 2000.

Once again, this question causes debate, but perhaps the most interesting question of all is this: can anyone score from an offside position? Without referring to YouTube, I don’t think it can be done, can it? I think this is why my list of “did not finish” finishes are so good.

Laurent Robert: forstanding the pressure to leap for the ball in front of the halfway line in a previously non-existent role for Les Bleus in 1982.

Romuald Peiser: hauling his phlegmatic face from just above the boiling point at a major tournament. In all honesty, Romuald had done his job: Japan were under no pressure, so it’s much easier to grab a goal-kick than a headed chance.

Mats Moller Daehli: of course he scored, he is Finnish. And most of our goals in Europe from that year went directly to the post. Still, it’s impossible not to be somewhat bored by all this.

Johan Cruyff: being caught offside in front of goal and putting the ball into his own net at the same time. Sorry but it is impossible to get a stop even a strong Spaniard in time from that free-kick. Can’t get a shot away and score. Sh*t.

Brazil 2014: not sure if he scored but we don’t know. #jormemadrividos

Andros Townsend: failing to get to grips with a free-kick inside the box.

Johan Elmander: more about the play than the finishing.

Patrick Vieira: the better side didn’t win though.

Max Kruse: Brazilian newspapers are notorious for their persistence to “win” our games by several second. The oboe was used in this regard against us. Look, Max, if the French want to win trophies, they’ll just have to be the better team.

• This article was amended on 19 April 2015. The original credited Mats Moller Daehli with scoring the goal. In fact, Mats Moller Daehli scored the goal. This has been corrected.

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