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5 Famous Soccer Goal-Line Controversies
Ukraine needed to beat England to advance to the quarterfinals, but was denied a goal in the 62nd minute when trailing 1-0.
After Tuesday’s controversy in Donetsk, there seems to be unstoppable momentum behind giving referees high-tech aids to make accurate decisions.
Still, fans never tire of talking and debating famous goal-line controversies:
The biggest match in world soccer produced one of the most controversial incidents in the 140-year history of the international game.
At Wembley Stadium, the World Cup host nation and West Germany were locked at 2-2 in the first period of extra time. England forward Geoff Hurst spun in the penalty area and fired a rising right-foot shot that hit the underside of the crossbar, bounced down on _ or was it over? _ the goal line and out. England players stopped to celebrate, German players protested. Swiss referee Gottfried Dienst consulted his Azerbaijani linesman, Tofik Bakhramov, and a goal was given. Hurst later completed his hat trick and England won 4-2.
2005 _ Liverpool vs. Chelsea, Champions League semifinal, second leg.
Liverpool reached the final of the world’s most prestigious club competition with a single goal over two, tightly fought matches against Chelsea.
In the 4th minute at Anfield, Luis Garcia clipped the ball over goalkeeper Petr Cech and as it bounced toward the net, defender William Gallas hooked the ball clear. Slovakian referee Lubos Michel awarded a goal that added the phrase “ghost goal” to the lexicon. Michel later said he would otherwise have sent off Cech for bringing down Garcia in the act of shooting.
Liverpool then won a memorable final, fighting back from three goals down at halftime against AC Milan to level at 3-3 in the second half in Istanbul. Liverpool won the penalty shootout.
Germany’s revenge for 1966. Trailing 2-1 approaching halftime in Bloemfontein, South Africa, England thought they had leveled when midfielder Frank Lampard shot from distance and the ball bounced down clearly behind goalkeeper’s Manuel Neuer line before spinning back out. Uruguayan referee Jorge Larrionda looked across at his linesman and allowed play to continue. England lost 4-1.
2012 _ Chelsea vs. Tottenham, FA Cup semifinal.
Wembley again. Chelsea again. And this time Lampard had a close-up view as Chelsea led 1-0 early in the second half against Tottenham. In a goalmouth scramble, Juan Mata prodded a shot toward a heap of bodies guarding on the Tottenham goal line. From his position seated partially behind the line, defender Benoit Assou-Ekotto and teammate Ledley King appeared to block the ball and force it to safety. Referee Martin Atkinson awarded a goal that infuriated the Tottenham players. Chelsea won 5-1 and went on to win the cup. Atkinson is at Euro 2012 working as a goal-line assistant to World Cup final referee Howard Webb.
2012 _ Ukraine vs. England, European Championship group stage.
This time the host nation at a major tournament, Ukraine, is denied a goal it needed in a game it had to win. Trailing England 1-0 in the 62nd minute in Donetsk, Marko Devic’s shot brushed past goalkeeper Joe Hart, and looped toward goal and appeared to cross the line before it was hooked clear by John Terry _ who was on the pitch for England in Bloemfontein and Chelsea at Wembley. Hungarian referee Viktor Kassai _ one of the world’s top-rated officials _ turned to his assistant monitoring the goal line and allowed play to continue. A half-hour later, Ukraine was out of Euro 2012.
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
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