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Goalkeeper in Europa Conference League celebrated penalty save too early and instantly regretted it

Goalkeeper in Europa Conference League celebrated penalty save too early and instantly regretted it

David Cassar saved Jay Donnelly's penalty but then made the mistake of celebrating far too prematurely.

The UEFA Europa Conference League has only been going for two seasons now but one of the greatest moments in the competition's history happened on Thursday night.

Northern Irish outfit Glentoran played Maltese side Gzira in the second leg of the first qualifying round, drawing 1-1 to make it 3-3 on aggregate after a 2-2 draw in the first fixture.

Incredibly, the hosts equalised in the 13th minute to take the clash all the way to penalties, where a total of 28 spot-kicks were taken in the shoot-out.

But it was at 12-11 when the absolute absurdity occured. Jay Donnelly stepped up for Glentoran and placed his penalty to the goalkeeper's left.

David Cassar, the main in between the sticks, guessed right and made the save. He promptly celebrated wildly but it was all very premature.

Remarkably, the backspin on the shot meant that the ball bounced over the line when the keeper had raced off and so Donnelly had scored.

The No.9 was initially slow to realise but his goalkeeper clocked it straight away and excitedly jumped up and down while gesturing to the referee, who signalled for the goal.

Image: Getty
Image: Getty

Cassar did not come back in shot but you just know he had egg on his face. The scoreboard in the top left corner even changed from miss to goal in extremely rare scenes, while the commentary came up with a superb line when he said, "The goalkeeper is away down the Newtownards road".

However, Glentoran were unable to capitalise as Ollie Boyd missed the decisive penalty.

Still, fans absolutely loved the chaos which ensued and reacted on social media.

One said: "Absolutely magnificent stuff. Never seen anything like it."

Another commented: "Laws of the game: The penalty kick is completed when the ball stops moving, goes out of play or the referee stops play for any offence. Excellent decision by the referee and linesman."

A third added: "Glorious example of premature celebration from the keeper here."

A fourth weighed in: "That was madness. Nonsensical almost."

A final user wrote: "The Conference League is the greatest competition in the world."

Featured Image Credit: BBC

Topics: Europa Conference League, Fan Reactions