Croatian team Slaven Belupo conceded a goal against Hajduk Split in the most unusual of circumstances when half the team was celebrating “a ghost goal” at the other end of the pitch that had not actually crossed the line.
Finding themselves 1-0 down with just over quarter of an hour to play in their Croatian First Football League encounter against high-flying Hajduk, bottom-of-the-table Slaven thought they had grabbed a vital equalizer at Stadion Poljud.
The Hajduk ‘keeper Josip Posavec mistakenly rolled the ball out to an opposition player from the edge of the box, who sent the ball looping back towards the goal.
Posavec raced back towards the goal, but appeared not to make it back in time as he flew into the net and the ball bounced back into play.
Several of the Slaven Belupo players in midfield and defense celebrated what they thought was an equalizer, with goalkeeper Antonijo Ježina even rushing to the touchline for a joyous embrace with managerial staff.
Even the TV scoreboard momentarily changed to indicate the score was 1-1, but ecstasy turned to horror when it became apparent that the ball had merely hit the post and bounced back out – leaving Slaven players to scramble back in a desperate bid to stop an attack from Hajduk players who had seen it was not a goal.
It was too little too late as Josip Juranovic rolled the ball into an unguarded net.
Watching the action unfold in real time it seemed as if the ball really had crossed the line, but replays showed clearly that the goalkeeper’s dive into the net, which caused it to bulge, had been deceptive and that the ball had definitely hit the post and stayed out – as the full video below shows.
It remained 2-0 to the hosts as they sealed a win which put them top of the table on 27 points from 11 games, two points clear of Dinamo Zagreb but having played two games more.
The hapless Slaven Belupo sit bottom of the league on goal difference among a group of three teams on 10 points.