Given the circumstances, you wonder how former Liverpool player Sami Hyypia feels about steering his Bayer Leverkusen side to the top of the Bundesliga.
What should have been a moment of pride has instead been doused in a sizeable portion of controversy, with a goal that never was allowing Hyypia’s side to look down – at least temporarily – on both Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.
With the two current German heavyweights not playing until today, Leverkusen travelled to Hoffenheim knowing victory would send them top; and goals from Sidney Sam and Stefan Kießling ultimately secured a 2-1 victory.
Sven Shipplock’s 88th-minute strike proved nothing more than a consolation for the hosts. But it should have in fact been a glorious late equaliser, because Leverkusen’s second was not a goal at all.
If you are yet to see it, Kießling’s header went narrowly wide, only for the ball to somehow slip through a hole in the net and drop between the posts.
A quick glance at the German striker’s reaction told you he was frustrated at himself for missing the target; and yet as he held his head in his hands, referee Felix Brych gave the goal, to the bemusement of all concerned.
That the goal somehow found its way into the net clearly confused both sets of players as well as the referee.
Speaking after the match, Kießling said, “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.”
With Hoffenheim set to appeal the result, the match appears likely to be replayed. But either way, what should have been a celebratory evening for Hyypia and his players turned into one that generated headlines for very different reasons.
You can see the ‘ghost goal’ below:
image: © twicepix