Bayern Leverkusen climbed to the summit of the German Bundesliga on Friday night, thanks to a ‘Ghost Goal’ awarded by referee Felix Brych, who failed to spot that Stefan Kiessling’s header flew wide of the post.
Hoffenheim are set to protest against the phantom goal which came up in the 70th minute of Leverkusen’s 2-1 win.
Brych, a FIFA referee, said there were no protest from the players at the moment the ball was spotted inside the net.
“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.”
Similar incident happened in April 1994 when Bayern Munich beat Nuremburg 2-1 after defender Thomas Helmer was awarded a goal despite the ball not crossing the line.
Nuremburg lodged a complaint, and Germany’s Football Association ordered a replay, which Bayern won 5-0 on their way to clinching the title.
“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,” Hoffenheim coach Markus Gisdol said.
“Anything else would be a joke. You can’t replay a Bayern Munich game, but not a Honfenheim game.”
Nigerian-born Germany international Sydney Sam had given the visitors the lead in the 26th minute before the controversy.
Stefan Kiessling Awarded a Ghost Goal.
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…Stefan Kiessling on scoring a ‘Freak Goal’ at Hoffenheim.
The referee awarded Hoffenheim a generous penalty late on when Roberto Firmino was fouled a foot outside the penalty area, but Firmino’s spot-kick was saved.
Sven Schipplock reduced the deficit for Hoffenheim two minutes from the dead, but couldn’t settle for a draw and fell to their first home defeat of the season.