Bundesliga team 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 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".
Felix Brych, a FIFA referee pre-selected for the World Cup 2014, said that no player had indicated it was not 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." Meanwhile, goal-scorer Kiessling has apologised saying he could "fully understand the reactions" to the goal. "After seeing the replays on television, I can clearly see that it was not a legitimate goal," he said. "During the game, after heading the ball and turning my head, I did not exactly see whether the ball had gone into the goal or not. Somehow, the ball was lying in the goal and I said exactly that to the referee. I'm sorry for all sports fans. Naturally, it's not nice to win like that. Fairness is important in sport, for us in the club and for me personally." Several Hoffenheim substitutes raced behind the goal to examine the netting and appeared to try to point out Brych's error. But the referee was by then powerless to overrule his original decision.
Rudi Voller, Leverkusen's sporting director, said: "That's not how we wanted to win the game. The fair result would have been a 2-2." Leverkusen were leading through Sidney Sam's 26th-minute opener when the controversy happened. Germany international 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 awarded Hoffenheim a generous penalty when Roberto Firmino was fouled a foot outside 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.
Source: BBC Sports
Source: BBC Sports