So as you know, with the whole caffeine fiasco (the caffeinasco?), I was up in plenty of time to watch the opening of the World Cup today. Mexico and South Africa are at the half 0-0 as I write this (or nil-nil for Citizen ClippersUK).
Mexico has had some golden opportunities, and in the 37th minute, Vela found the back of the net off a corner, but the goal was waved off for offside. Announcers Martin Tyler and Efan Ekoku were at first bewildered, and then incensed that the flag was up - they watched the replay, there was a South African defender standing ON THE GOAL LINE - how could the attacker possibly be offside?
They failed to comprehend that the rule is that the attacker must be behind the SECOND TO LAST defender to be in an onside position when the ball is played forward. The reality is that the rule is generally thought of as being behind the last defender OTHER THAN THE GOALKEEPER, since the goalkeeper is pretty much always back there. With a yellow jersey on the goal line, the announcers couldn't comprehend how a black jersey could be flagged for being offside.
But the keeper had come off his line to play the initial corner, which was flicked on by a Mexican player. At the time of the flick, Vela was behind the second to last defender, who happened to be Bafana Bafana's keeper - so it was the correct call.
By the way, it was a close call, but correct. Unfortunately, the announcers never realized their mistake, and thus never explained the rule nor why it was the right call.
So why does a volunteer AYSO coach who's never played a full sided soccer game in his life know more about the beloved 'laws of the game' than the World Cup announcers? Embarrassing.