Explained: Why CSKA Moscow’s Goal Was Not Ruled Out As Offside

REUTERS/Phil Noble

Manchester United had their hearts beating faster when CSKA Moscow went ahead in what was assumed to be a controversial circumstance when the two sides met in their Group A Champions League encounter.

Jose Mourinho’s side knew a win or a draw would be enough for them to finish as Group winners and qualify for the knockout stages.

With CSKA needing to win and FC Basel needing to lose against Benfica in the other Group A match, the Russian giants had belief when they grabbed the opening goal just at the cusp of half-time.

United players weren’t happy with the goal appearing to look like being scored from an offside position.

After United spurned some decent chances in the first half where they dominated in every aspect, CSKA’s Mario Figueira Fernandes was played down the right-hand side, and he cut the ball back into the danger zone for Vitinho, whose shot towards goal deflected off Alan Dzagoev and went past Sergio Romero.

Dzagoev appeared to be in an offside position when the ball hit him and found the back of the net. The officials went ahead with their decision and awarded the goal to the visitors.

The players and the fans were left disgruntled. But as moments passed by, the scenario acted actually in favour of CSKA. This comes as a rule indicted by FIFA, and according to its law, the following is mentioned in their rule book:

“Any defending player leaving the field of play for any reason without the referee’s permission shall be considered to be on his own goal line or touch line for the purposes of offside until the next stoppage in play.”

With Dutchman Daley Blind being off the pitch when the ball hit Dzagoev without the referee’s permission, he was technically playing the player onside. Therefore. the goal was counted.

After half-time, though, United upped the tempo further and scored two goals in a space of a minute, which helped them win the tie.


Written by Rajdeep Saha 

Sports journalist with stints across print, digital and television. Contribution to each medium has been thrilling. Experienced in writing for this passionate game called football. Journalist by choice and passion.


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