World of Sport

Warming-up sub runs on to pitch, makes brilliant save

World of Sport

Football fans in Argentina have been left dumbfounded by one of the saves of the season - by a substitute who was warming up behind the goal.

Mauricio Gomez Arias has earned cult status for the save, darting on to the pitch to parry the ball and stop a certain goal.

Under the laws of the game, the referee had no choice but to award the attacking team an indirect free-kick, which they could not convert.

The incident took place in a league semi-final between San Martin de Marco Juarez and Bell de Bell Ville in northern Argentina.

Bell striker Ciocca Bernardo bore down on goal and beat goalkeeper Damien De Genno. But as the forward wheeled away in celebration, Gomez Arias produced his moment intervened.

He explained: "I had seen ball-boys in Brazil do it.

"We were playing at home, and had lost the away leg. It was 0-0, we were attacking and couldn't score.

"Then came a counter-attack, the Bell striker came forward and our defender fell over - when our keeper came out and didn't get the ball I don't know what happened - I went out (on to the pitch), it was instinct."

Talk about an impact sub - Gomez Arias was shown a red side but his team stayed at 11 players.

The player then sprinted off the pitch as the home fans cheered.

"I knew it was a sending-off. I wanted to avoid wasting time with any arguments - there were still 15 minutes left."

Despite the save, Bell went on to win the match 1-0 and progress to the final.

Gomez Arias said: "I regret what I did, but that's life. These things happen."

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