A team trainer employed by Aparecidense was the deciding factor in a two-leg playoff series between the Brazilian fourth-division soccer club and its playoff rival Tupi.
In Brazil, when a two-leg playoff ends in a draw, the team that has scored more goals away from its home stadium is deemed the victor. If neither team has scored more away goals than the other, the match goes into overtime. If at the end of overtime the match is still tied, it is resolved in a penalty kick shootout.
In the closing minutes of the quarterfinals of Brazil's Série D playoff, Brazilian soccer club Tupi was tied with Aparecidense 3-3 on aggregate. It stayed that way and Aparecidense advanced to the semifinals by virtue of the away goals rule, but not before one of the most egregious acts in the history of the game was committed.
In the final minute of regulation of the second leg, the score tied, Tupi forwards beat the Aparecidense defense and attempted to put away what should have been an easy goal for the win.
An as-of-yet unidentified Aparecidense team trainer standing near the goal post, seeing that his keeper had been beaten and that Tupi was about to win the playoff series, stepped on to the pitch and blocked the shot. The ball popped back to the Tupi forwards and they tried a second time to finish off the play for the win.
Again, the trainer blocked the shot, this time with his backside. The intervention gave Aparecidense's defense time to recover and clear the ball from the danger zone.
The team trainer then got up and ran off the field with Tupi players in hot pursuit — with good reason.
The president of Aparecidense has told the Brazilian media that his club is at fault in part for the intervention, but also blamed the referee.
"My personal opinion is that it was wrong," Wilson Queiroz Brasil told Estadao.com.br, "but as the club's president, I will defend the club. From the moment the match begins, it's the referee's responsibility. And if you look, you can see (the trainer) was on the field before it happened. The ref should have stopped the game there."
The Tupi club is appealing the result of the game, but whether or not the issue will be resolved before the semifinal begins is unclear.
It's definitely something one must see to believe.