Germany better, but replay needs to be used
"I'm happy it wasn't in place tonight," said the Bayern Munich right back, with a wide smile on his face.
The 26-year-old wasn't gloating after his team's astonishing 4-1 win over England -- he was just genuinely happy that in the lottery of high-profile refereeing mistakes, Germany had drawn the big prize on the night.
Lahm is too intelligent a professional to leave it at that, however.
"I think that FIFA should introduce the technology after this World Cup," he told CBCSports.ca. "Because big games can turn on these moments. Going in with 2-2 at halftime would have made the match a lot more difficult for us."
Germany was much the better team on the night against a defensively shambolic England side, and the brutal scoreline -- the Three Lions have never lost by such a high margin in the World Cup or European championship before -- adequately reflected Germany's technical superiority.
Perhaps Joachim Loew's team would have gone on to win the game regardless of conceding the equaliser by Frank Lampard just before halftime -- we'll never know.
Football games can take unexpected turns at the drop of hat, it's a game of ifs and buts and always one of opinion -- one referee's foul is another one's fair challenge.
There are no two ways about a goal though. Football's most important, essential act is also one of the very few that things allow for clear, objective criteria.
The ball's either in, or not, end of story. Nothing is easier to verify, opinion or interpretation of the rules simply doesn't come in it.
In 2010, there's absolutely no reason why a perfectly valid goal should be disallowed. Sepp Blatter's view that incidents of controversy somehow increase the enjoyment of the occasion is, at best, naive. I'd call it cynical.
Lampard's "Wembleytor," as Germans call that sort of situation in reference to Geoff Hurst's controversial 3-2 goal in the 1966 final, would have only made a great game even more compelling. This grave injustice, conversely, has taken a just tiny bit of the shine off Germany's victory and will leave England forever wondering what could have been.
"I thought even at 2-0 down and then at 2-1 that we can still win this game," said a dejected Steven Gerrard. "To see the linesman 20 metres behind the play was very disappointing. How can he see it from there?"
Goal-line technology might not have changed the result, Gerrard added, but it would certainly have affected the game.
"Going into the break at 2-2 would have given us confidence and belief."
To the Liverpool player's great credit, he didn't go down the easy "we woz robbed" route that many English teams have travelled after tournament exits before.
"To say that one moment was the reason we got beat would be a lie, we can't use that excuse," said the 30-year-old.
And FIFA must not use the England captain's gracious manner in defeat as an excuse to do nothing.
About the Author
Raphael Honigstein is a London-based soccer correspondent for Süddeutsche Zeitung, Germany's biggest broadsheet newspaper. He covers German soccer for The Guardian and Talksport Radio, is the author of "Englischer Fussball. A German's view of our Beautiful Game," and writes a regular blog on www.footbo.com.