World of Sport

Players baffled and infuriated as referee awards phantom goal in 88th minute

World of Sport

A Spanish third division game turned into a farce on Sunday as the referee made one of the most bizarre decisions ever seen in professional football.

Quintanar del Rey were playing Toledo at their home ground, Estadio San Marcos, and with two minutes left in the match they trailed 3-1 and looked set to lose.

That impression seemed all the more likely when one of Quintanar's stars thundered an 88th minute long-range effort past the goalkeeper, only to see it hit the bar and bounce safely down onto the turf several yards away from the goalmouth.

With the ball still live the players of both sides tried to pounce, but Toledo's keeper stepped in to claim it - and that should have been the end of it.

Except it wasn't. For reasons known only to himself the referee decided to award the goal. That's despite the fact that a good few seconds had elapsed since the shot, and also despite the fact that not a single attacking player tried to claim the goal - despite several of them being much closer than the man in black.

Either way, the goal stood - and things only got better from there on for Quintanar. As Toledo's players raged at the officials they let their guard down, while Quintanar's fresh hope perhaps inspired them: they broke forwards again and scored an equaliser to grab perhaps the strangest draw ever seen.

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