Footballer accidentally scores 'best goal ever' after somersault but people baffled it stood
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A footballer scored a goal that has been described as one of the ‘best’ ever scored, but there’s a large number of people who don’t know why the goal was allowed to stand in the first place.
When you think about great goals, what comes to mind?
How about that Brazil 1970 team goal? Or even the magical footwork of Diego Armando Maradona for that second goal against England in Mexico back in 1986?
Well, this goal is a bit more like the mercurial Argentine playmaker’s first goal against the hapless Peter Shilton that day, in the sense that it was scored with a player’s hand.
You’d have to be a serious football fan – or someone with a vested interest - to have been watching the fixture between Drake University women’s team and their counterparts from the University of Northern Iowa, but if you did you would have seen something that you almost certainly won’t see again.
College footballer Zoey Mahoney, playing for Drake, decided to attempt to get a bit of extra steam behind a throw-in by doing a somersault in the run-up, allowing her to unleash the ball towards the opposing penalty area.
However, in doing so, her lengthy chuck struck the opposition goalkeeper before crossing the line and coming to rest in the goal.
It’s a hell of a throw-in, but not one that Northern Iowa goalie Caitlin Richards will want to see again in a hurry.
It’s the fact that it came from a throw-in that seems to have some people confused, but it’s exactly the fact that it didn’t come directly from the thrown restart that makes it stand.
You see, had Richards simply left the ball alone and let it go in, it wouldn’t have been a goal at all.
FIFA’s rules state that a player cannot score directly from a throw-in, and if such a situation does occur a goal kick to the opposing team will be awarded.
Because the throw hit Richards, it definitely counts, and was rightly awarded.
Mahoney and her teammates celebrated wildly after the goal went in off Richards, and fans have been quick to offer up some praise.
However, others have used the opportunity to criticise the game.
One person wrote: "Aaaaand it only counts because even high-level American players don’t know the rules.”
Another commented: "Keeper should be benched for touching that."
A third explained: "Why did the goalie go for that? If she hadn’t touched it the goal wouldn’t count. Can’t score directly from a throw-in, but the goalie touching it makes it a legal goal. Terrible decision-making from the keeper."
Still, let's try to keep things positive here.
"That was flippin' awesome," said one observer.
We see what you did there.
"Craziest goal you'll ever see,” agreed another.
Zoey Mahoney's throw-in goal in @DrakeWSoccer's 2-1 win over UNI yesterday was unbelievable, but don't take our word for it...— Drake Athletics (@DUBulldogs) September 18, 2023
"Craziest goal you'll ever see" - @SportsCenter
"I've never seen that" - @GMA
"This is bananas" - @notthefakeSVP #DSMHometownTeam pic.twitter.com/rYRsdvcBq8
In the end, the goal helped Drake secure a 2-1 victory, and the goal has gone viral since then.
Let that be a lesson to aspiring goalkeepers out there – you don’t always need to touch the ball to do the right thing.
However, in most circumstances, you’ll still be OK.
Football is a hell of a game, mostly because anything at all can – and does – happen.
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