Of bending corner kicks and disallowed goals: Just how rare are these things?

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Topical at last night’s FC Dallas-New England contest was a disallowed goal off a corner kick. Dallas’ Matt Hedges scored what looked to be the late game-winner off a Fabian Castillo corner kick. (Ugo Ihemelu’s goal a few minutes later rescued all three points for the home side. Full match highlights are here)

On the disallowed strike, the near-side referee’s assistant immediately raises his flag to indicate that Castillo out-swinger corner kick had gone over the line – well over by the look of it, although the camera angle isn’t great.

Here’s that sequence:

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So the question became: how often does this happen?

Answer: It’s not common, but not exactly rare either. Just ask New York Red Bulls striker Kenny Cooper, who thought he had done something historic last year, striking for the Portland Timbers’ first MLS goal at Jeld-Wen Field (It’s at the 1:25 mark of this video):

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[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HT_XMbQuOko&w=560&h=315%5D

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Cooper’s header was disallowed for the same reason as Hedges’ goal (never mind what the announcers, especially John Harkes, was going on about). You can make a case that the referee’s assistant may have been a little quick on the trigger, flag raising-wise. (Was that ball really all the way over the line? Seems a little dubious.)

Either way, Cooper’s is surely one of the more noted MLS cases of a goal disallowed due to corner kick bend.