Against the backdrop of all the cheating, play-acting and cat-calls for bookings that tarnish the Beautiful Game on almost a daily basis, the following story requires due attention and celebration.
Last weekend in Mexico, Pachuca’s Under-20s took on Estudiantes in a league match. We pick up the action in the 87th minute, with Pachuca 3-0 up.
Whilst Pachuca were in possession play was halted after opponent Adrian Dominguez was grounded by injury in the Pachuca half of the pitch. With no foul having caused Dominguez’s pains the contest was restarted by a drop-ball, and that’s when the shenanigans started.
Rather than observing etiquette to hand the ball back to Pachuca, Estudiantes’ Sergio Teran used the restart to his advantage by rushing into the Pachuca box and drawing a penalty from the goalie.
Then came the twist as, upset with his team’s behaviour, Estudiantes coach Mauricio Gallaga ordered his penalty-taker Gustavo Mendez to purposefully miss that spot-kick.