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The Bundesliga's two bizarre ghost goals
When is a goal not a goal? That may seem an easy enough question, but two remarkable incidents in the Bundesliga's first 60 years left fans rubbing their eyes in disbelief.
The first of the infamous incidents occurred in April 1994 in a crucial end-of-season game - and Bavarian derby between Bayern Munich and Nuremberg. With Bayern battling Kaiserslautern in a tight title race, Thomas Helmer met the ball at the far post from a corner and bundled it wide of the post. To their opponents' astonishment - this was years before VAR and goal-line technology, remember - a goal was awarded.
The referee's assistant had raised his flag, which was presumed at the time to be because he had incorrectly seen the ball land in the net across a crowded penalty area. A DFB investigation afterwards found a major breakdown of communication had actually occurred, with the assistant attempting to flag for an earlier incident and the referee assuming the assistant had seen the ball go into the net. A replay of the match was awarded, which Bayern won by five actual goals to nil on their way to winning the title.
That is a remarkable story. Surely nothing of the kind could happen in the modern era with referees wired for communication with their assistants? Think again...
A simple hole in the net was the culprit in 2013 when Hoffenheim hosted Bayer Leverkusen - that and a remarkably placed Stefan Kießling header from a corner. Kießling placing his hands to his head should have been a clue that the effort zipped wide. It did so at such a pace while somehow managing to find a hole in the side netting, and when it landed in the back of the net, few could begrudge the officials some confusion.
A goal was awarded - and the strike that never was proved to be crucial in a 2-1 win for Leverkusen. Hoffenheim protested but it was concluded that the referee gave the goal in good faith. The goalframe and the net can now be seen in a local museum.
With goal-line technology introduced in the Bundesliga in the 2015/16 season, such freak events should definitely not happen again. You just never know in football though!
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Controversial 'Ghost Goal' Sends Bayer Leverkusen Top of the Bundesliga [VIDEO]: Nightly Soccer Report
by Christopher Harris February 07, 2022
A controversial goal scored by Bayer Leverkusen’s Stefan Kiessling sent the German club top of the Bundesliga tonight, but incredibly the winning goal scored by Kiessling shouldn’t have been awarded since the ball never went into the back of the net.
Watch the video below to see how Kiessling’s header appeared to go into the back of the net, but then watch the replays to uncover what really happened.
BT Sport commentator Jonathan Pearce, at first, thought the ball went into the back of the net, but co-commentator Kevin Kilbane noticed that the ball didn’t go in.
With the goal, Leverkusen beat Hoffenheim 2-1 and leapfrogged Bayern Munich to go top of the table. Despite Kiessling saying to the referee that the ball didn’t go into the back of the net, the referee awarded the goal.
Here are tonight’s world soccer news headlines:
- Controversial ‘ghost goal’ sends Bayer Leverkusen top of the Bundesliga — The Guardian
- BT Sport’s commentators discuss Stefan Kiessling’s Phantom Goal, player appears to admit to ref it didn’t go in — 101GG
- Brek Shea sees red card in Stoke City u-21 win against Reading — Stoke City
- Andros Townsend signs an extension to his Tottenham contract — Haringey Independent
- Manchester United dealing with injury bug as RVP may miss out again — Pro Soccer Talk
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- Hillsborough investigation: Reinforcements to be brought from other forces to quiz police who attended 1989 tragedy — Independent
- Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson: I feel I belong here at Anfield now — Telegraph
- The night Jeremy Goss helped Norwich shock Bayern Munich — BBC Sport
- Marouane Fellaini set to postpone surgery on his injured wrist until after the World Cup next year — Telegraph
- Mauricio Pochettino continues to pull off balancing act at Southampton — The Guardian
- Premier League Supporters: The dramatic rise of Southampton FC and their fans — Pro Soccer Talk
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- Benitez: “We lacked goals, but we were better than Roma” — Rafa Benitez
The Nightly Soccer Report is tomorrow’s news today. It’s often tomorrow morning’s worldwide newspaper headlines that are published the night before. We do all the work for you, combing the Internet and aggregating the news for you. Read The Nightly Soccer Report on World Soccer Talk every night before bed, so you can stay on top of all the news that matters.
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Referee gives Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen 'ghost goal' after ball goes through side netting
Leverkusen striker Stefan Kiessling had headed wide in the 70th minute, with the ball creeping through a small hole in the side netting of the Hoffenheim goal.
But the referee awarded the goal despite the angry protests of Hoffenheim, who were trailing 1-0 at the time to Sidney Sam's 26th minute opener.
After Kiessling's controversial goal, Hoffenheim's sense of injustice deepened further when Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno saved a Roberto Firmino penalty in the 83rd minute.
The home side just knew it wasn't going to be their day when two follow up efforts from the save hit the post.
Sven Schipplock headed home a consolation for Hoffenheim with two minutes remaining.
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Football: 'Ghost goal' helps Bayer Leverkusen spirit away top spot in Germany
BERLIN (AFP) - Bayer Leverkusen snatched top spot in the Bundesliga on Saturday but only after a "ghost goal" allowed them to beat Hoffenheim 2-1.
Leverkusen striker Stefan Kiessling looked to have headed wide in the 70th minute and even thrust his arms into the air in frustration at his miss.
But the ball then crept through a small hole in the side netting of the Hoffenheim goal.
The referee awarded the goal despite the angry protests of Hoffenheim, who were already trailing 1-0 at the time to Sidney Sam's 26th minute opener.
Gonzalo Castro had created the goal for Sam, who now has seven for the season.
After Kiessling's controversial goal, Hoffenheim's sense of injustice deepened further when Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno saved a Roberto Firmino penalty in the 83rd minute.
Sven Schipplock headed home a consolation for Hoffenheim with two minutes remaining.
Kiessling is not the first player to score a goal that never was in Germany.
On April 23, 1994, Bayern Munich defender Thomas Helmer also benefited despite the ball not going into the goal in a 2-1 win over Nuremberg.
After Nuremburg lodged a complaint, the German federation ordered the match to be replayed - and Bayern won 5-0.
Hoffenheim coach Markus Gisdol believes the 1994 incident has set a precedent for a replay of Saturday's game.
"I think we are going to have to re-examine the TV pictures," said Gisdol.
"You cannot replay a match just for Bayern and not for Hoffenheim." Kiessling admitted he had been left stunned by the incident.
"Everyone started rushing towards me. What could I do?" he told Sky.
"Honestly, I couldn't really judge what I saw but when Hoffenheim pointed to the hole in the net, I had an inkling."
Referee Felix Brych stood by his decision.
"I had a little doubt, but the reaction of the players was clear," said the referee.
"I checked with Kiessling. But no-one, not even him said that it wasn't a goal. The ball was in the net and for everyone on the pitch it was a legitimate goal."
Leverkusen, on 22 points, now have a two-point lead over Bayern Munich, who can reclaim top spot with a win over Mainz on Saturday.
It was Leverkusen's seventh Bundesliga win of the season and gave the team coached by Sami Hyypia a timely boost ahead of their Champions League clash with Shakhtar Donetsk on Thursday.
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Ghost goal strikes again as Bayer Leverkusen beat Hoffenheim thanks to a Stefan Kiessling header which went through a hole in the side netting
Hoffenheim are protesting against the result after the ball clearly went wide of the post, only to end up in the back of the net, article bookmarked.
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Bundesliga side Hoffenheim will protest against their 2-1 defeat to Bayer Leverkusen last night after Stefan Kiessling’s 70th minute header was awarded as a goal despite the ball clearly going wide of the post and through a hole in the side netting.
Referee Felix Brych failed to see that the ball did not cross the goal-line, although Kiessling’s reaction suggested who knew exactly what had happened as he held his head in his hands in disbelief that he had missed the target.
But after a few seconds of confusion had passed, the Leverkusen players realised that Brych had awarded the goal, to which the Hoffenheim players accepted as the ball was in the back of the net.
Hoffenheim’s managing director Alexander Rosen said: “It’s a scandal. That was no goal, there are no two ways about it.
“We are definitely going to protest.”
Brych defended himself by admitting that the players didn’t give him any signal that the ball hadn’t gone in, and when he saw that the ball was in the net he felt it necessary to award a goal.
"I had a slight doubt but the reaction from the players was clear - nobody was against [the decision]," Brych said.
"I checked with Kiessling. But no-one, not even him, said that it wasn't a goal. The ball was in the net and for everyone on the pitch it was a legitimate goal."
Of course, this is not the first time the infamous ghost goal has struck, especially in Germany. In 1994, Bayern Munich beat Nuremburg thanks to a goal that never was from defender Thomas Helmer, giving them a 2-1 victory.
However, a complaint was lodged and the German Football Association ordered a replay of the match, which Bayern went on to win 5-0.
On these shores, the last ghost goal to be seen was at Vicarage Road, where linesman Nigel Bannister signalled that Watford midfielder John Eustace had put the ball into his own net when he had really knocked it out for a corner. Despite the goal giving Reading a 1-0 lead, Watford were able to claw back a 2-2 draw.
There was also a similar incident at Bristol City, when Crystal Palace’s Freddie Sears’ shot hit the base of the goal, flying in and back out and leading to referee Rob Shoebridge giving a goal kick. Palace went on to lose 1-0.
"It's definitely bitter for us and something like this has already happened once, and that game was replayed so I think we're going to see this game again,” said Hoffenheim coach Markus Gisdol.
"Anything else would be a joke. You can't replay a Bayern Munich game, but not a Hoffenheim game."
Meanwhile, the goalscorers Kieesling admitted his surprise at how the ball managed to end up in the back of the net.
"I didn't really see it, I turned away but I was surprised to see the ball in. I didn't know how it got in,” the striker admitted.
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'Ghost goal' helps Bayer Leverkusen top Bundesliga table
Leverkusen striker stefan kiessling looked to have headed wide in the 70th minute and even thrust his arms into the air in frustration at his miss. but the ball then crept through a small hole in the side netting of the hoffenheim goal..
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Bundesliga: Hoffenheim complain about ghost goal scored by Bayer Levurksen
Monday 21 October 2013 10:45, UK
Hoffenheim have asked the German Football Association for a replay of their game against Bayer Leverkusen in which the visitors were incorrectly awarded a goal in a 2-1 win.
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German football federation to investigate Leverkusen's 'ghost' goal
The German football federation will consult with Fifa as it investigates Bayer Leverkusen's 2-1 win over Hoffenheim. Hoffenheim lodged an appeal against Friday's Bundesliga result after losing the game to Stefan Kiessling's headed "goal", which was awarded despite clearly missing the target. The ball hit the outside of the net and rolled into the goal through a hole in the netting.
"I didn't really see it, I turned away but I was surprised to see the ball in. I didn't know how it got in," Kiessling said. The DFB said in a statement on Saturday that it will consult both teams, the referee, its control committee and football's governing body Fifa "to clarify the legal position for such cases internationally".
Hoffenheim wants a replay, as happened when Bayern Munich scored a phantom winner against Nürnberg, in 1994.
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Hoffenheim denied Leverkusen replay after 'ghost goal'
28 October 2013 28 October 2013 . From the section Football
Hoffenheim's call for their Bundesliga game against Bayer Leverkusen to be replayed after the awarding of an incorrect goal has been rejected.
Leverkusen striker Stefan Kiessling headed the ball through a hole in the side of Hoffenheim's net in his team's 2-1 away win earlier this month.
Referee Felix Brych did not spot that Kiessling's effort missed the target.
But, despite Hoffenheim's protest, the German Football Association (DFB) insists the result will stand.
"The decision may be unsatisfactory from a sporting point of view but it is according to the rules and laws," said Hans Lorenz, president of the DFB's sports court.
Hoffenheim have one week to decide whether they will appeal the decision, which was made at a hearing in Frankfurt on Monday.
Fifa referee Brych told the hearing that he awarded the goal, which put Leverkusen 2-0 ahead, after consulting with his assistant.
"I thought that the ball was going wide. I lost it because my line of sight was obscured, And then I saw the ball in the goal," said Brych.
Germany international Kiessling, 29, has been criticised by some Bundesliga fans for not challenging Brych's decision.
"I saw the ball fly in the direction of the side-netting. My view was blocked and I did not see the impact, but the ball was in the goal," said Kiessling.
"My first thought was that the goalkeeper had turned it in himself. I thought of everything, but not really of a hole in the net."
Third-placed Leverkusen, who are one point behind leaders Bayern Munich, were leading through Sidney Sam's 26th-minute opener when the controversy happened on 18 October.
Kiessling headed a corner wide of the near post, and could be seen turning away in frustration before Brych awarded the goal.
The referee then gave Hoffenheim a generous penalty when Roberto Firmino was fouled outside of the penalty area. But Firmino's spot-kick was saved.
Sven Schipplock pulled a goal back for Hoffenheim two minutes from the end, but they could not save a point and fell to their first home defeat of the season.
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5 things to know about the Bundesliga
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BERLIN (AP) — Schalke’s Ruhr derby with Borussia Dortmund on Saturday is undoubtedly the highlight of the Bundesliga’s 10th round of games. League leader Bayern Munich hosts Hertha Berlin, which seems as surprised as anyone to be fourth, and relegation-threatened Nuremberg makes a fresh start at Stuttgart. Here are five things to know ahead of the weekend:
SCHALKE UNDER PRESSURE
Schalke won both Ruhr derbies last season, giving visiting Dortmund added incentive to set the record straight.
“To lose two derbies in a row is anything but nice. We’d like to win one again and really knock one out on Saturday,” said Dortmund midfielder Sven Bender.
The visitors have been given a boost by their smash-and-grab 2-1 win at Arsenal in the Champions League on Tuesday, while Schalke lost 3-0 to Chelsea for the ignominy of the club’s biggest home defeat in the competition. A second defeat in succession to the club’s biggest rival would see Schalke coach Jens Keller coming under increasing pressure.
Schalke midfielder Marco Hoeger has been ruled out for the rest of the season with cruciate ligament damage and striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is out until the winter break. In contrast, Dortmund’s injury concerns seem to be receding after the club’s best start to a Bundesliga season. Juergen Klopp’s side is already eight points clear of Schalke. An 11-point gap after 10 games would be hard to stomach for the Schalke supporters.
NUREMBERG’S NEW START
Gertjan Verbeek makes his debut as Nuremberg coach in Stuttgart on Friday. The Dutchman has already enamored himself by declaring he “fell in love with the club” at his presentation on Tuesday. The 51-year-old Verbeek, who previously enjoyed success with Dutch side AZ Alkmaar before falling out with the players, has been appointed to steer Nuremberg out of the relegation zone following the sacking of Michael Wiesinger.
“Of course I have my own ideas. But it always depends on the quality of the players,” Verbeek said.
Eight of Nuremberg’s nine German championships came before the Bundesliga was formed in 1963.
BAYERN EYEING RECORD
Defending champion Bayern, which enjoyed an easy 5-0 win over Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League on Wednesday, is closing in on Hamburger SV’s record 36-match run without defeat set in 1983. Bayern is unbeaten in 34 successive league games and won’t be expected to slip up at home to Hertha, despite the promoted side’s fine start. Franck Ribery did not play last week due to an ankle injury but produced a man of the match performance against Plzen and the Frenchman can set a new Bundesliga record of playing in 39 straight games without defeat if he features on Saturday. Ribery currently shares the record with Hamburg’s Holger Hieronymus.
SPECTER OF ‘GHOST GOAL’ HANGING OVER LEVERKUSEN
Leverkusen’s Stefan Kiessling was relieved to score two goals without controversy in his side’s 4-0 win over Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday, following the furor over his “ghost goal” through a hole in the side-netting against Hoffenheim last Friday.
“Of course we looked very closely to see if it was in,” Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Voeller said, referring to the first goal.
Bild captured the sense of relief around the BayArena stadium: “Kiessling also scores without a hole! And even two goals.”
Kiessling thanked fans afterward for their support on his Facebook page. “I’m lost for words. It was so good what you did for me,” the striker wrote.
Hoffenheim will learn Monday if its appeal for a replay is successful. Meanwhile the club has donated the infamous net for auction with the proceeds going to a children’s charity.
With 10 goals in 14 games across all competitions, Kiessling will hope to continue his goal-scoring exploits — legitimately — against Augsburg on Saturday.
FREIBURG GATHERING NUTS
“The squirrel toils for nourishment,” said Freiburg coach Christian Streich last weekend after the third draw from four Bundesliga games left his side waiting for its first win of the season. Freiburg, second from bottom, is paying the price for its remarkable success last season, when the modest club finished fifth and qualified for the Europa League. After losing a host of important players in the offseason, Freiburg is finding it difficult to incorporate new players and cope with the strain of two competitions.
Freiburg was playing Estoril Praia in the Europa League on Thursday, when a win would give Streich’s side confidence for the games ahead. Freiburg had never started without a win in nine Bundesliga games. Saturday’s visitors from Hamburg appear to have overcome their poor start with 10 goals in three games since Bert van Marwijk took over as coach.
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TSG ist Bewegung
10 years since the "ghost goal" – the trigger for goal line technology
"I can still remember our home match against Bayer Leverkusen in the 2013/2014 season and the so-called 'ghost goal'," said TSG's now managing director Alexander Rosen, who was director of professional football at the time. "When Stefan Kießling climbed high in our box in the 70th minute and headed the ball toward our goal, I saw the net bulge, but at the time, I paid particular attention to the reactions of our players and those of the opposition. I was relieved that the ball had obviously missed the target, but suddenly a Leverkusen player began to celebrate after a short time delay. I was relaxed at first, but then quite quickly I was in disbelief, because referee Dr. Felix Brych went to the halfway line and ruled it was a goal for Leverkusen."
Sebastian Rudy, who was a substitute in the middle of his warm-up process at the time and was therefore right next to the scene of the crime, remembers the incident well: "It was a bizarre situation. When we as substitute players went closer to the goal, we discovered the hole in the net and immediately assumed that the ball must have gone into the goal through the hole." Stefan Kießling's (non-)goal made it 2-0 to Leverkusen, rendering Sven Schipplock's goal in the 88th minute, merely a consolation goal for Hoffenheim.
"As bitter as this defeat and above all the way the game went was for us at the time, this second 'ghost goal' in Bundesliga history laid the foundations for today's goal line technology, which was brought in by the league representatives only around a year after Kießling's supposed goal," said Rosen. "It is technology that did not change the character of our sport, but delivers fast and reliable decisions for the benefit of all involved – namely, goal or no goal. It simply makes football fairer and, above all, such a strange 'ghost goal' is unthinkable nowadays."
But before goal line technology found its way into the Bundesliga, TSG had filed a complaint before the sports arbitration court. "A replay was rejected by the DFB sports arbitration court on the grounds that it had made a decision based on the facts of the case," Rudy recalls. "A decision that I cannot really understand to this day. Because for me, that was not a decision based on the facts of the case, and a replay would definitely have been the correct decision. But in the end, that ghost goal laid the foundations for today's goal line technology – and thus at least did some good."
The painful defeat had another positive effect in addition to the new technology: "The goal net with the hole raised the impressive sum of €100,000 at an auction for the charity "Ein Herz für Kinder" in 2014. In retrospect, there was therefore another winner out of this ghost goal," said the TSG managing director.
The memorable event at the Sinsheim Arena celebrates its tenth anniversary today – and its place in the history books of the Bundesliga is secure.