Demand for replay after Leverkusen's 'phantom goal'
Federation set to probe Kiessling header that went through side net
Hoffenheim have called for a replay after losing 2-1 to Bayer Leverkusen thanks to a freak "phantom goal" as the German Football Federation prepares to investigate.
Leverkusen are now third on the Bundesliga as Stefan Kiessling's 70th-minute winner at Hoffenheim was scored in bizarre circumstances. Replays showed his header only ended in the back of the net after flying through a hole in the side netting.
In the immediate wake of the goal, Kiessling could be seen waving his arms in frustration at what he clearly thought was a miss. But with the ball in the net, he was quickly congratulated by teammates and match official Felix Brych, a Fifa referee, awarded the goal.
A DFB sports court is set to meet tomorrow to investigate the goal, with Hoffenheim expected to lodge an appeal while Brych files a report.
"It's a scandal. We are definitely going to protest," Hoffenheim director Alexander Rosen fumed. "That was no goal, there are no two ways about it."
Kiessling admitted replays left him cringing. "My immediate thought was that the ball didn't go in," the 29-year-old Germany striker said. "Then everyone came to [congratulate] me and I saw the ball was in the net.
"What was I supposed to do? I was surprised and I told the referee that. When I see the pictures of the goal, it's a crap situation. People are being offensive towards me, but there's nothing I can do about that. I didn't realise what was going on during the game."
There is a precedent for this unusual situation after a replay was ordered when Bayern Munich's Thomas Helmer was credited with a goal, which did not go in the net in a 2-1 win over Nuremberg in April 1994.
Nuremburg lodged a complaint, but Bayern won the replay 5-0 on their way to clinching the title.
Hoffenheim coach Markus Gisdol said he fully expected the game against Leverkusen to be replayed. "I think we will see that game again, anything else would be a joke," he said. "We can't have a replay for Bayern Munich, but not one for Hoffenheim."
Referee Brych said he had no indication from any of the players that anything was wrong with the goal. "I had a small amount of doubt but the reaction of the players was clear," said Brych. "There was no indication [from them] that it could have been an irregular goal, therefore I awarded it.
"I had an exchange with Stefan Kiessling but nobody, including him, told me that it wasn't a goal. The ball was in the net and for everyone on the pitch it was a legitimate goal."
Having seen Kiessling's goal, ex-Germany defender Helmer, who scored Bayern's phantom goal 19 years ago, said the match had to be replayed.
"It's a matter of seconds and you don't always know for sure how the ball went in," Helmer said. "Kiessling would also have wondered, what do I do now, what happened?
"And these seconds decide whether he's a good lad or a bad boy, but the game must be replayed, there can be no question."
Leverkusen coach Sami Hyypia said: "I celebrated because I saw the ball was in the net."
In other games, Thomas Müller scored two, while Arjen Robben and Mario Mandzukic each pocketed one to see Bayern defeat Mainz 4-1 to go one point ahead of rivals Dortmund and Leverkusen. Marco Reus scored from the penalty spot as Dortmund beat Hanover 1-0.