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Video: New York Red Bulls use trick play to score goal from corner, but should it have counted?

The trick play was impressive, but one mistake meant that the goal should not have been allowed to stand

New York Red Bulls trick corner kick Chicago Fire
Left: Sam Lloyd Sam touches the ball near the corner flag. Right: Sacha Kljestan dribbles away from the corner flag instead of passing or crossing the ball

On Thursday night, Chicago Fire beat New York Red Bulls 3-2 in the MLS, but there was a controversial goal which became the highlight of the game. It involved a corner kick routine which eventually became a trick play that helped the Red Bulls equalize early in the second half. 

When New York won a corner kick in the 49th minute, their English winger Lloyd Sam went to the corner flag to take the set piece. Except he did not. 

He placed the ball on the arc at the corner flag and tapped it with his foot - as if to adjust its position before walking away and joining his teammates inside the box. Instead, midfielder Sacha Kljestan stood over the ball, ready to deliver a cross into the box.

But after a quick word with the linesman near the corner flag, Kljestan took the Chicago Fire defence by complete surprise by quickly dribbling the ball towards the box before putting in a low cross that was fired home by Ronald Zubar. 

Should the goal have counted?

According to the laws of the game, this goal should not have counted. Here is the rule for corner kicks infringements stated in Law 17 of the FIFA Laws of the Game

If, after the ball is in play, the kicker touches the ball again (except with his hands) before it has touched another player: an indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team, to be taken from the place where the infringement occurred 

In this case, as seen in the video, Sam had touched the ball twice – first with his right foot and then with his left foot – before Kljestan dribbled the ball. The linesman should have raised his flag as soon as Kljestan dribbled the ball instead of passing or crossing it to a teammate. 

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