Bizarre Bundesliga 2: Ex-Manchester United keeper sent off as sub concedes penalty | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 27.10.2019
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Bizarre Bundesliga 2: Ex-Manchester United keeper sent off as sub concedes penalty

A substitute giving away a penalty and a former Manchester United goalkeeper receiving a second yellow card for accidently punching an opposition player - just another week in Germany's second division.

A couple of bizarre incidents in Germany's second division have had fans scratching their heads this weekend.

In Kiel, a substitute warming up behind the goal somehow contrived to give away a penalty while, down in Karlsruhe, former Manchester United and Leicester City goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler was sent off for accidentally punching a striker in his abdomen. 

The bizarreness began on Friday night in the northern port city of Kiel, where Holstein Kiel welcomed VfL Bochum. In the 37th minute, with Holstein leading 1-0, Bochum striker Mboussy Ganvoula dragged a poor effort wide of the post for a goal-kick - or so everyone thought.

But the video assistant referee (VAR, in operation in Bundesliga 2 for the first time this season), had spotted that a Holstein Kiel substitute warming up behind the goal, Michael Eberwein, had put his foot on the ball before it had crossed the line, therefore interfering with play.

In accordance with Law 3, Paragraph 7 of the Laws of the Game, "Extra persons on the field of play," Eberwein was booked and a penalty awarded to Bochum, which Ganvoula put away to make it 1-1. It was the first ever implementation of the law since its introduction in 2017.

Incredibly for Eberwein, a former Borussia Dortmund reserve player who joined Kiel this season from Fortuna Köln, his unfortunate display of ball control was his first ever touch in Bundesliga 2. Luckily for the 23-year-old, who returned to his place on the bench, Kiel went on to win 2-1. 

"He didn't know the rule," said Kiel head coach Ole Werner - and several of Eberwein's teammates admitted that none of them had heard of it either.

"But at least we can laugh about it now. Although poor Michi is probably going to have to put up with a few jokes until the end of the season."

Watch video 01:03

Bizarre Bundesliga penalty

Red card for accidentally punching an opponent

The hilarity continued on Saturday afternoon down in Karlsruhe, where Karlsruher SC hosted Hannover 96 at the Wildparkstadion.

When Henrik Weydant put Hannover 3-2 up in the 93rd minute, it looked like the visitors had secured all three points, only for Daniel Godon to make it 3-3 two minutes later. But the drama didn't end there. 

When the ball bounced back out of the net, Hannover goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler attempted to punch it away in frustration, only for his fist to catch Gordon instead as he wheeled away in celebration. 

"You go 3-2 up in the final minutes and are celebrating what looks like a victory, then you concede such a cheap equalizer — the emotions are brutal," said a frustrated Zieler post-match.

"I saw the ball bounce back out of the net and all I wanted to do was punch it away over the bar as hard as I could," he continued. "And then the player came out of nowhere and ran across my path. My arm was already fully in motion. If I had seen him quicker, of course I wouldn't have done it."

Zieler, having already been booked for time wasting, was sent off for the first time in his career and Hannover, who had already used up their three substitutes, were forced to play out the remaining seconds with defender Josip Elez in goal. 

"The referee explained it to me. He knows I didn't mean it but I still struck the player so he had to show me yellow," added Zieler, who had also been the target of some unpolite chants from the Karlsruher ultras behind the goal. 

"The chants didn't influence me," insisted Zieler. "Unfortunately, that happens every other away game."

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