People will be talking about this match for years, but only the coal-hearted few of us who fixated on the darkness in our souls will remember the goal line officials nearly ruined this match, allowing two goals which made you question why on earth they’re on the field if not to make those calls.
And I’m not usually one to talk referees. In fact, I’ve gone to bat to defend them in the face of committed fan bases desperate to vilify. But tonight, I just can’t explain it: How can you be mere feet away, staring right at an infraction, and let it go?
Maybe I’m missing something. You tell me.
The first incident is Eliseu’s goal, the third in the highlights package, above. On a ball that may have rolled in had the Málaga attacker laid off, the Portuguese winger puts a touch to it even though he was clearly in an offside position at the time of the shot. The goal line official, in a perfect spot to see the infraction, fails to help. Eliseu’s goal stands.
Fast forward to stoppage time. Borussia Dortmund need one goal to win, and look at Felipe Santana, in between the goalkeeper and a defender who has fallen back to the line. That’s offside. That’s a call the assistant or that goal line official should make.
It was so confusing. I went looking for an explanation. Perhaps those officials weren’t allowed to make those calls, though based on the UEFA directives I found, the goal line officials can offer any help that aids enforcing of the laws of the game.
Or they could just stand there and left a couple of offsides goals nearly make the difference in a Champions League quarterfinal. Totally their call.
Here are the highlights of Tuesday’s match, courtesy FOX Soccer.