The Washington Post

Women’s World Cup: the blatant handball that wasn’t during Australia victory over Equatorial Guinea

This really happened in a FIFA tournament: A scoring effort by Australia in a Women's World Cup match struck the left post and was caught by an Equatorial Guinea defender, who took a step with the ball in her hands before dropping it. While Australian players howled for a penalty kick — and would’ve been justified in seeking a red card, as well — Hungarian referee Gyoengyi Gaal let play continue.

“She said that she’s very sorry for not seeing such a clear handball,” a FIFA match official told German magazine Kicker.

In honor of Diego Maradona, we'll call this incident: “Hand of Oh-My-God!”

Three minutes later, Equatorial Guinea tied the match. Australia went on to win, 3-2, to remain in contention for a quarterfinal berth. The Matildas are level with Norway on three points; the sides will face one another in the group finale Wednesday in Leverkusen to determine who will join first-place Brazil in the knockout stage. A draw would favor Australia because of its superior goal difference.

Steven Goff is The Post’s soccer writer. His beats include D.C. United, MLS and the international game, as well as local college basketball.


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