World of Sport

Lyon offer replay after ref’s blunder in Cup semi-final shoot-out

World of Sport

It's the nature of football that refereeing mistakes are commonplace. Barely a week goes by when a bad decision by a referee or a mistake by a linesman doesn't cost a team something.

When teams are the victims of these sorts of outrages, they tend to let the world know about it in no uncertain terms.

But when they're the beneficiaries? That's when managers go red and flustered and claim not to have seen the incident, or start talking about "luck evening itself out over the season", before going off to celebrate a victory.

That's how it works in men's football, at any rate. In the women's game, however, it appears that standards of sportsmanship are far, far higher after an incredibly story from the French women's game.

Olympique Lyon have offered to replay their women's French Cup semi-final against Montpellier after going through on penalties thanks to a refereeing mistake.

Twice women's Champions League winners Lyon won 6-5 on penalties following a 1-1 draw, with the crucial moment coming when Montpellier's Rumi Utsugi stepped up for her penalty with score 2-2 in the shoot-out.

For some reason the referee did not want to seem to allow Utsugi score. First she stroked it home but the goal was disallowed because the ball moved.

Then, on her second attempt, the ball hit the post and hit the keeper's arm before rolling in.

A perfect goal you would think but no - it appears the referee got the rules wrong and thought that the penalty was dead after it hit the post and as a result ruled it as a miss.

Both teams would miss one more of their regular penalty kicks which means Montpellier should have won the shoot-out 4-3.

However, instead it went to sudden death and it was Lyon who took the victory.

The match was not televised but amateur video footage of the incident emerged and Lyon did the honourable thing of offering a replay rather than go through in more than questionable fashion.

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