Bizarre goals
Robin Hackett
September 13, 2012
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On Saturday, Liverpool head to Sunderland - the scene of one of the most bizarre goals of recent times as Darren Bent scored with the help of a beach ball. Here, we pick out a selection of some of football's other weird and wonderful goals.

Peregrino Anselmo (URUGUAY v Yugoslavia, 1930)

The first ever World Cup brought great controversy. In the semi-final, Yugoslavia had taken an early lead against hosts Uruguay, but Pedro Cea equalised on 18 minutes. Two minutes later, Uruguay went 2-1 ahead, and the goal came in quite extraordinary fashion.

As described in The Compact Book of the World Cup: "The ball had appeared to go out of play, only to be kicked discreetly back onto the pitch by a uniformed policeman." From the pass, Peregrino Anselmo made it 2-1 and, after Yugoslavia were denied an equaliser in a controversial offside decision, Uruguay ran riot, booking their place in the final with a 6-1 win.

Rivelino (CORINTHIANS v America, 1974)

Roberto Rivelino scored one of the fastest goals in the history of football when, at the start of a league match with America, he spotted the opposing goalkeeper, Pirangi, taking longer than usual for his pre-match prayers. The referee, having checked there was no problem, started the game, and the great Rivelino fired straight into the net.

"Most of the crowd was distracted," the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper reported. "When the ball went into the opposite corner of the net to goalkeeper Pirangi, there was delirium, along with a few seconds' worth of admiring glances from his fellow Corinthians players and the crowd. The goalkeeper took longer than everyone else at the stadium to understand that he had conceded a goal."

Corinthians went on to win 5-0 that day, and coach Sylvio Pirillo was full of praise for his star player. "I never thought I'd see a goal as fast as that," he said. "Only a player like Rivelino could do that."

Ahmet Akcay (MKE ANKARAGUCU v Besiktas, 1986)

In the dying moments of defending champions Besiktas' game at Ankaragucu in September 1986, Turkish referee Ahmet Akcay found himself in the way of a deflected shot and redirected it, via his face, into the goal. Ankaragucu won the game 1-0.

"This is the first time in my 17 years in football that I've scored a goal," the referee said in the Milliyet newspaper in the days that followed. "My conscience is clear."

He may have felt a pang of guilt come the end of the season: Besiktas, who had the best goal difference in the league, finished a point behind eventual champions Galatasaray.

Gary Crosby (NOTTINGHAM FOREST v Manchester City, 1990)

Relegation-threatened Manchester City were left outraged after going down to a 1-0 defeat at the City Ground courtesy of one of the cheekiest goals ever scored: goalkeeper Andy Dibble had held the ball in one outstretched hand when Forest winger Gary Crosby ran up behind him, headed the ball and tapped it into the net.

Dibble described the referee's decision to allow it as "unbelievable", while City chairman Peter Swales vowed to write to both the Football Association and the Football League to register the strongest possible protest. "That defeat could be crucial to us at the end of the season," Swales said.

Referee Rodger Gifford, along with several of his colleagues, highlighted that the goal was perfectly legitimate as it could not constitute dangerous play, while Crosby felt only one man was to blame: "I think Dibble had forgotten about me. No goalkeeper would hold a ball out like that in a crowded penalty area without it being knocked away from him."

Dion Dublin (COVENTRY CITY v Newcastle United, 1997)

Only four minutes into Newcastle's game at Highfield Road in November 1997, goalkeeper Shay Given handed Coventry the lead. Rolling the ball in front of him ready to hoof it upfield, he had failed to notice Dion Dublin lurking behind him, and the Sky Blues striker was able to simply knock the ball into the net.

The match ended in a 2-2 draw, and prompted the famous Manchester Evening News headline: "The only Irish international who doesn't know where Dublin is."

Dean Saunders (SHEFFIELD UNITED v Port Vale, 1998)

Sheffield United completed a dramatic late comeback in their Division One encounter with Port Vale in March 1998. The Blades had been trailing until Marcelo equalised with seven minutes to go, and they grabbed a winner in extraordinary fashion in the dying moments.

Vale goalkeeper Paul Musselwhite came out to slide the ball out for a throw-in as substitute striker Dean Saunders chased down the line. Finding himself alone in the attack, Saunders threw the ball against Musselwhite's back as he retreated to his goal line and then curled it into the empty net.

The Port Vale players protested, but referee Steve Bennett felt the Welshman had done nothing wrong. Blades manager Steve Thompson said: "Some referees would say what Dean did was ungentlemanly conduct, but everyone knows Dean's a gentleman, so there we go."

Brian Savill (Earls Colne v WIMPOLE 2000, 2001)

The Football Association suspended referee Brian Savill for seven weeks after he intervened to help out Wimpole 2000 when losing 18-1 in a Great Bromley Cup game away to Earls Colnes' reserve team.

"The ball came over from a corner, the Wimpole forward headed it and it came to me," Savill told BBC Radio Five Live. "I chested it down, or armed it down, and the ball bounced up and I just volleyed it into the net."

He added: "I went roaring up the field, blowing the whistle and signalling a goal. There were about 20 or 30 people watching. Half were standing there in bewilderment and the other half were clapping and laughing. An Earls Colne player shook my hand and said, 'Well done!' It was done in a good humour - Wimpole were getting thrashed."

Wimpole eventually lost 20-2 and Savill, accusing the authorities of having "no sense of humour", resigned in protest at his suspension.

Vanderlei (ATLETICO MINEIRO v Cruzeiro, 2007)

In the first leg of the 2007 Campeonato Mineiro final, Cruizeiro succumbed to a humiliating 4-0 defeat to Atletico Mineiro.

At the start of the second half, Atletico made it 3-0 from the penalty spot. Moments later, when Cruzeiro goalkeeper Fabio was getting the ball out of the net, the game got underway with another ball. The 'keeper, who had his back to the action, was left unawares as Vanderlei fired home.

Cruzeiro coach Paulo Autuori resigned after the game due to his "shame" at the result, with president Alvimar Perrella revealing: "He is embarrassed. We are all ashamed. What happened today brought shame on an institution an institution that has existed for 85 years."

Atletico, despite a 2-0 defeat in the second leg, went on to win the competition for the...
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