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Soccer players and fans left perplexed after ball crosses the line … but no goal is awarded

<i>Marcelo Hernandez/Getty Images</i><br/>Fernando De Paul of Colo Colo kicks the ball during the Copa CONMEBOL Libertadores 2023 group F match between Colo Colo and Boca Juniors at Monumental Stadium David Arellano on May 3
Marcelo Hernandez/Getty Images
Fernando De Paul of Colo Colo kicks the ball during the Copa CONMEBOL Libertadores 2023 group F match between Colo Colo and Boca Juniors at Monumental Stadium David Arellano on May 3

By Matias Grez, CNN

(CNN) — Soccer players and fans were left dumbfounded after a referee and his officials failed to award a goal after the ball crossed the line by about half a meter.

Inside the opening 10 seconds of Colo-Colo’s Chilean Cup match against Unión La Calera, Colo-Colo defender Alan Saldivia played a wayward pass back to goalkeeper Fernando de Paul.

As the ball made its way towards the goal, de Paul tried desperately to get back and prevent it from going over the line – but he failed to get there in time and kicked the ball away after it had gone over the line.

Some of La Calera’s players began celebrating, but quickly stopped when they realized referee Víctor Abarzúa hadn’t signaled for a goal and Colo-Colo continued playing.

To make matters worse, before La Calera could even make its case to the officials, Colo-Colo went up the other end and immediately scored to make it 1-0.

Adding insult to injury, Colo-Colo went on to win the match 6-1 and reach the regional semifinals, while La Calera finished the match with 10 men.

Some of Chile’s stadiums do have video assistant refereeing (VAR) – including the Estadio Monumental where this match was played – but it isn’t used during the earlier rounds of the Chilean Cup.

Roberto Tobar, the head of Chile’s refereeing committee, put the error down to a lack of concentration from the referee and his assistants.

“Regrettably … a quite obvious error was committed by the refereeing team in not sanctioning a legitimate goal for Unión La Calera after an own goal by a defender of Colo-Colo,” he said, according to outlet La Tercera.

“This type of situation, which very rarely occurs within 10 seconds of the start of a match, means that the referees are not 100% activated and, as a result, are not in an appropriate position to make the best decision.

“Situations that are unexpected are when concentration and a good location take precedence to make a very good decision,” Tobar added.

It’s unlikely that explanation will make La Calera fans feel any better.

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