DFB to investigate freak goal, Hoffenheim demand replay

Berlin: Hoffenheim have called for a replay after losing 2-1 to Bayer Leverkusen thanks to a freak `phantom` goal as the German Football Federation (DFB) prepares to investigate.

Leverkusen went top of the Bundesliga on Friday as Stefan Kiessling`s 70th-minute winner at Hoffenheim was scored in bizarre circumstances.

Replays showed his header only ended in the back of the net after flying through a hole in the side netting.

In the immediate wake of the goal, Kiessling could be seen waving his arms in frustration at what he clearly though was a miss.

But with the ball in the net, he was quickly congratulated by team mates and match official Dr Felix Brych, a FIFA referee, awarded the goal.

A DFB sports court is set to meet on Monday to investigate the goal with Hoffenheim to lodge an appeal and Brych to file his report.

"It`s a scandal. We are definitely going to protest," Hoffenheim director Alexander Rosen fumed to reporters after the match.

"That was no goal, there are no two ways about it."

There is a precedent for this unusual situation as a replay was ordered after Bayern Munich`s Thomas Helmer was credited with a goal which didn`t go in the net in a 2-1 win over Nuremberg in April 1994.

Nuremburg lodged a complaint to the DFB but Bayern won the replay 5-0 on their way to clinching the title.

Hoffenheim coach Markus Gisdol said he fully expects the game against Leverkusen to be replayed.

"I think we will see that game again, anything else would be a joke," he said.

"We can`t have a replay for Bayern Munich but not one for Hoffenheim."

Referee Brych said he had no indication from any of the players that anything was wrong with the goal.

"I had a small amount of doubt but the reaction of the players was clear," said Brych.

"There was no indication (from them) that it could have been an irregular goal, therefore I awarded it.

"I had an exchange with Stefan Kiessling but nobody, including him, told me that it wasn`t a goal.

"The ball was in the net and for everyone on the pitch it was a legitimate goal."

Having seen Kiessling`s goal, ex-Germany defender Helmer, who scored Bayern`s phantom goal 19 years ago, said the match has to be replayed.

"It`s a matter of seconds and you don`t always know for sure how the ball went in," Helmer told broadcaster Sport1.

"Kiessling would also have wondered, what do I do now, what happened?

"And these seconds decide whether he`s a good lad or a bad boy, but the game must be replayed, there can be no question."

Leverkusen coach Sami Hyypia admitted it was not the ideal way for Bayer to go top of the league, although Bayern Munich or Borussia Dortmund can usurp them later on Saturday.

"During the game, I celebrated because I saw the ball was in the net," said the ex-Liverpool defender.

"Of course, it`s a bit unpleasant to win like that.

"I can`t do much about it, the referee makes the decisions."

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