There are times in football when winning takes priority over fair play even though one would pragmatically claim it shouldn’t, and players commit to scoring and accepting goal any way they can. From ghost goals to offside strikes, handballs and intentional dirty play – the world of football has seen them all.
While Diego Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ goal from the World Cup is perhaps the most famous of them, there have been plenty of other contenders along the way even to this day where referees are subjected to an intense scanner when they fail to spot such goals.
They may escape the referees’ eyes, but the cameras are a different matter altogether. Here are five goals that goals that go against the very core of sportsmanship brought to you courtesy of the said cameras.
#5 Darren Bent – Sunderland
Most football fans probably remember the infamous beach ball incident of 2009 where Sunderland and Darren Bent benefited from a deflected effort to seal a 1-0 win over the Reds. With the beach ball in the colours of their support lying inside Liverpool’s penalty area, Bent’s shot took a wicked deflection off it and left Pepe Reina stranded while the match ball rolled into the back of the net. The Spaniard would later admit that his eyes were fixed on the unwarranted ball, distracting him from his custodianship of the goal.
Ironically enough, it was ascertained that the beach ball had made its way onto the pitch having escaped the grasp of a young Liverpool fan making this goal all the more freakish and disappointing for the Liverpool fans.