It was Igor Rabiner, a famous football writer in Russia, who drew my attention to this goal in a match over the weekend between Anzhi Makhachkala and Amkar Perm. What he Tweeted about was the positioning of the goalkeeper as the goal went in – stood inside the net and not making much effort to be involved with play – ‘congenial’, Rabiner called it.
I Tweeted back that I found the blatant offside leading up to the goal odd – odd that the linesman didn’t spot it (for it is ‘miles’ offside), but even odder that not one of the Amkar defenders appealed for offside. A further Tweeter, @ponaanfuture, pointed out the lack of effort the Amkar defenders made to clear the initial cross.
The goal, an equaliser in the dying moments of the game, was a crucial one for Anzhi – in the relegation zone, they are desperate for points. Though the club’s budget has recently been cut drastically, at $60 million it is still more than adequate for typical expenditure in the Russian Premier League.
But let me not cast aspersions – it was the very end of the game. Maybe the keeper was tired and slightly disorientated, hence seeming to run into the goal. The defenders and linesman too could have been on their last legs, hence the offside being missed by all.
You can decide for yourself – the link below takes you to Sport Express’s website, and a clip of the goal (commentary in Russian). If anyone finds a YouTube link of the goal, please let me know.
Saul Pope is a contributor to ‘When Saturday Comes’ magazine and blogger/Tweeter on Russian and Ukrainian football. You can follow him on Twitter: @saulpope