RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – A Brazilian second division match ended in chaotic scenes after a linesman raised his flag for offside, the defending team stopped playing, the attacking side walked the ball into the net and the referee awarded a goal.
Tuesday’s match was interrupted for 13 minutes as furious players from losing side Luverdense surrounded the referee to protest the extraordinary goal that gave former South American champions Internacional a 1-0 win.
The incident happened in stoppage time when Internacional forward William Pottker was released on the right. The linesman immediately raised his flag for offside, Pottker pulled up without touching the ball and the Luverdense defenders stopped.
However, the ball ran on to Internacional forward Joanderson, who was onside, the referee waved play on and the linesman suddenly dropped his flag.
With the Luverdense defense still under the impression that play had stopped, Joanderson slipped the ball to Pottker who tapped it into the empty net and the Inter players ran off to celebrate as their opponents surrounded the referee.
Luverdense’s players initially refused to restart the game, with several walking off the pitch, before they were persuaded to kick off.
Twice winners of South America’s Libertadores Cup and three-times Brazilian champions Internacional are playing in the second tier for the first time after being relegated last season.
(Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by John O’Brien)