Shocking moment: European Under-21 Championship goal disallowed for ‘foul’ on goalkeeper after howler… with VAR four days away

SPAIN were disallowed a goal in bizarre circumstances after an apparent goalkeeper howl at the European Under-21 Championship.

Rodrigo Riquelme had the easy task of rolling the ball into the empty goal after Ukraine stopper Ruslan Neshcheret dropped the ball.

Ukraine's Ruslan Neshcheret kindly dropped the ball for Rodrigo Riquelme


Ukraine’s Ruslan Neshcheret kindly dropped the ball for Rodrigo Riquelme
Riquelme scored a goal but it was not recognised


Riquelme scored a goal but it was not recognised
The game between Spain and Ukraine ended 2:2


The game between Spain and Ukraine ended 2:2Photo credit: EPA

The Dynamo Kyiv star captured a loose ball with ease and attempted to launch a counterattack, rolling the ball to his teammates.

However, it seemed as if it fell out of his hand and hit the back of his own leg.

It’s a boon to Riquelme, who kicked the ball into the goal only for the referee to annul the goal.

Lithuanian referee Donatas Rumsas awarded Ukraine a free-kick for fouling or interfering with the goalkeeper to spare Neshcheret an embarrassment.

The tournament, which has been played in Romania and Georgia so far, has no VAR or goal-line technology.

VAR is expected to come into play in the quarterfinals, which begins on Saturday.

With the tie ending 2-2, both Spain and Ukraine have progressed through to the knockout rounds and hope not to suffer any more strange refereeing decisions.

France and Italy will be desperate for the same after several controversial decisions in their clash last Thursday.


In the run-up to Les Bleus’ winner, many believed the referee had overlooked a foul.

Fans also thought Italy should have gotten a penalty when Pierre Kalulu seemed like he could endure it in his own box.

There was also a “ghost goal” in the game when Raoul Bellanova equalized in the dying embers of the game.

However, the referees failed to notice that the ball crossed the line and the goal was disallowed.

Italy lost 2-1 and coach Paolo Nicolato raged.

He said: “I get the impression that referees are used to using VAR; without VAR, they don’t know how to make quick decisions anymore.”

England will be on tech for their quarter-final game against Portugal on Sunday.


ClareFora is a Dailynationtoday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. ClareFora joined Dailynationtoday in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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