Bizarre goals
Robin Hackett
September 13, 2012
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first time in seven years.

Luton Shelton (SHEFFIELD UNITED v Manchester City, 2008)

Manchester City suffered FA Cup embarrassment in 2008 when they were knocked out in the fourth round by Championship side Sheffield United with the assistance of balloons released by their own fans.

Luton Shelton opened the scoring in a 2-1 win when a Lee Martin cross from the left was diverted by balloons in the penalty area, wrong-footing defender Michael Ball and allowing Shelton to fire past Joe Hart.

"We asked the fourth official to tell the referee Alan Wiley to stop the game and take away the balloons or kill them, but the referee told our goalkeeper Joe Hart to do it during the game, which isn't fair," City manager Sven Goran Eriksson said afterwards. "I've never seen a goal like it before. The ball changed direction and the balloons played a one-two with Michael Ball. But we should not blame the balloons - we should have done better."

Frank Baumann (Hamburg v WERDER BREMEN, 2009)

The goal that took Werder Bremen to the 2009 UEFA Cup final was, while not bizarre in itself, the product of bizarre circumstance.

Hamburg, after a 1-0 away win in the first leg, had taken the lead in the second leg but found themselves losing 2-1 - thus trailing on away goals - as the tie entered its final ten minutes. When a Michael Gravgaard backpass took a deflection from a paper cup thrown onto the field, Werder won a corner. From that corner, Frank Baumann headed home to secure an eventual 3-3 win on away goals.

"We do encourage our fans not to throw things onto the field," Hamburg spokesman Jorn Wolf told Der Spiegel. "It was unfortunate."

The offending article, which became known as "The Paper Cup of God", was collected by a TV presenter and given to Werder's sporting director, Klaus Allofs. "This bit of paper is going to go in the Werder-Museum," Allofs said. "It'll have a special place there."

Driss Belaamri (MAGHREB FEZ v FAR Rabat, 2010)

The 2010 Coupe du Trone match between Maghreb Fez and FAR Rabat had gone to penalties after a 1-1 draw, and the FAR goalkeeper, Khalid Askri, believed he had made a key save in the shootout.

Making a good save to deny MAS winger Driss Belaamri, he walked behind his goal to celebrate, yet such was the spin on the ball that it had reversed direction after his stop and bounced into the goal. Belaamri approached the referee, the goal was given, and MAS progressed to the quarter-finals with a 7-6 victory on penalties.
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