Refereeing clanger: Chaos in Mexico as official accidentally denies Cruz Azul goal

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Referees inevitably play a massive role in football matches.

You only have to look at Everton's win over Liverpool at the weekend to see that the whim of the match officials can have huge ramifications for both the game itself and the season as a whole.

Chris Kavanagh's decision to award Everton a penalty during the closing minutes at Anfield teed the Toffees up for victory and allowed them to draw level with the Reds in the Premier League table.

Refereeing intervention

However, referees aren't supposed to involve themselves in games as far as actually influencing phases of play are concerned.

Now, don't get us wrong, it happens from time to time. It would be impossible for referees to avoid a sphere that's being unpredictability pinged across a pitch in every game that they officiate.

But there's no denying that the rare instances in which it goes wrong can have fans tearing their hair out and wondering what might have happened if it wasn't for a bizarre deflection.

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Getting in the way of play

That being said, because - for obvious reasons - referees seldom plough deep into penalty areas, those unlucky interventions seldom have a different influence on goal-scoring opportunities.

Sure, a referee getting in the way might sideswipe a promising counterattack, but I certainly can't conjure many examples where you could feel certain that they've cost a team a goal.

Well... erm, yeh, it would be pretty disappointing if that wasn't the case in a Liga MX game this weekend after all that elaborating scene-setting, wouldn't it?

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Chaotic refereeing moment

But fear not, ladies and gentlemen, because a truly bizarre piece of refereeing intervention did indeed happen during Cruz Azul's 3-2 victory over Toluca at the Azteca Stadium.

'How?' I hear you ask. Well, match official Óscar Macías must have been bricking it when he accidentally made a last-ditch tackle for Toluca that denied a goal for Jonathan Rodriguez.

Yes, you did indeed read that right and we still can't work out why the referee thought loitering in front of the goal was good positioning, but perhaps you can by checking out the footage here.

How???

Cruz Azul are somewhat notorious for being the unluckiest team in Liga MX and it seemed to be another case of woeful misfortune when Macías robbed them of the chance to go 3-0 up.

And in a hilarious twist of events that you couldn't write, Toluca appeared to be inspired by the mishap and duly leveled the scores at 2-2.

But we're happy to report that there is some justice in the world because Cruz Azul pulled through to score a 63rd-minute winner courtesy of Guillermo Matías Fernández.

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So, we feel for your refereeing frustrations, Liverpool fans, but at least it was Dominic Calvert-Lewin who was tripped up to win the penalty as opposed to a goal-poaching Kavanagh.

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