19 Oct 2013

'Ghost goal' helps send Leverkusen clear

1:12 pm on 19 October 2013

A "ghost goal" that snuck through a hole in the net has sent Bayer Leverkusen to the top of German football's Bundesliga.

Leverkusen's Stefan Kiessling looked to have headed wide in the 70th minute of his team's 2-1 win over Hoffenheim, and the striker even thrust his arms into the air in frustration at his miss - but the ball then crept through a small hole in the side netting, and the referee awarded it despite the angry protests of Hoffenheim, who were already trailing 1-0 at the time.

Kiessling is not the first player to score a goal that never was in Germany.

On April 23, 1994, Bayern Munich defender Thomas Helmer also benefitted despite the ball not going into the goal in a 2-1 win over Nuremberg.

After Nuremburg lodged a complaint, the German federation ordered the match to be replayed - and Bayern won 5-0.

Hoffenheim coach Markus Gisdol believes the 1994 incident has set a precedent for a replay of Friday's game and officials should re-examine the TV pictures.

Gisdol says you cannot replay a match just for Bayern and not for Hoffenheim.

Leverkusen, on 22 points, now have a two-point lead over Bayern Munich, who can reclaim top spot with a win over Mainz on Sunday.