The ‘love’ that inspired a Aparecidense masseur to make a last-ditch double-save to secure his side’s progression in a Brazilian play-off match was, it turns out, ultimately in vain.
The save, reminiscent of Peter Schmeichel in his pomp, prevented a near-certain goal in the Brazilian fourth division promotion play-off against Tupi and appeared to have secured his side victory on aggregate.
"It was our only chance. If I hadn't done it, Aparecidense would have been knocked out," said a rather pleased with himself Romildo Fonseca da Silva at the time.
"I don't regret it because I did it out of love for the club."
Well, that love, while admirable, failed to hold water with the rather sternly-named Superior Court of Sports Justice (SCSJ) - who have realigned the scales of justice and chucked his team out of Brazilian Serie D.
Apparently, Da Silva’s heroics were, according to SCSJ, “contrary to sporting ethics” and the original game – which finished 2-2 and saw Aparecidense through on away goals – has been annulled and Tupi given a 3-1 aggregate victory to progress.
Da Costa will surely be disappointed with the ruling but it was a far more civil resolution to the situation than that proposed by the Tupi players - as he may have needed a masseur of his own had they not been restrained by riot police as he scarpered in the wake of his save.
- Sports & Recreation