In Tuesday’s crucial USA vs. Iran World Cup match, Timothy Weah thought he had given the Americans a 2-0 lead just before halftime. Unfortunately for him — and the USMNT — it was disallowed after being ruled offside.
It was an extremely tight call, but based on the new semi-automated offside technology being used at this year’s tournament, it appeared to be the right one.
Here’s how the play looked in real time:
An offside call rules out a potential second goal for the USMNT 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/mKGnvpQi0m
Tim Weah’s goal was ruled offsides. pic.twitter.com/47iAmOGswO
From the angle this screenshot shows, it looks as though Weah is just onside. However, this is what it looked like with the new technology:
This close to a 2nd for USA pic.twitter.com/Wwb1UZxajj
According to FIFA, the new system offers “a support tool for the video match officials and the on-field officials to help them make faster, more accurate and more reproducible offside decisions on the biggest stage of all”.
MORE: FIFA’s new offside technology, explained
The system involves twelve specialized cameras mounted on the stadium roof that are constantly tracking both the ball in play and 29 data points on each player’s body. The official World Cup match ball also has a sensor placed inside sending data to the video operation room 500 times per second, which helps accurately assess the point at which the ball is struck.
It was a painfully close call for American fans watching on, but with the help of the state-of-the-art technology at this year’s tournament, the officials got it right.
MORE: Watch USA vs. Iran live with fuboTV (US-only free trial)
Weah’s goal would have extended the lead to 2-0 and given the USMNT a bit more of a cushion over Iran heading into the second half. Christian Pulisic gave the team the lead with a crucial but painful goal in the first half.
Weah scored the USA’s only other goal so far in this World Cup, slotting home a through ball against Wales to give them a 1-0 lead in that game. It ended in a 1-1 draw after Gareth Bale converted a second half penalty.