A U-14 Scottish cup final between Hutchison Vale and Newcraighall Leith Vics ended in confusion thanks to one of the goals scored in the shootout required to separate the two teams. The Newcraigcall goalkeeper made a brilliant diving save, but after catching the ball, he dropped it on the ground as he celebrated, allowing it to roll over the goal line.
As the dejected Hutchison Vale shooter was hiding his face in his shirt, the ref ruled that it was a goal and the shootout continued with Hutchison Vale eventually winning the cup. But was this the right decision?
Youth Football Scotland asked former Scottish Premier League referee Willie Young:
“The Laws of the Game state that a penalty kick has only been completed when the Referee decides it has. (Law 14).
“It also states that ‘when a penalty kick is taken….. a goal is awarded if, before passing between the goalpost and under the crossbar, the ball touches either or both of the goalposts and/or the crossbar and/or the goalkeeper.’
“In terms of Law 14 it is for the Referee to decide when the penalty kick has been completed and it appears that he has decided that it was not completed until after the ball had passed between the posts having been ‘touched’ by the goalkeeper.
“So the answer to your question is ‘Yes’.”
At the very least this should serve as a valuable learning experience for these young footballers. Namely that you should celebrate making a save by tossing the ball into the goal.