Equatorial Guinea defender grabs ball, no penalty
Australia’s Leena Khanis stared in shock when defender Bruna
held the ball in both hands for a couple of seconds in front of
Equatorial Guinea’s goal – and nothing happened.
Khanis pointed to Bruna as she casually dropped the ball. The
Australian then looked for the referee and shouted out
But no penalty was called after Khanis had deflected a ball to
the post and Bruna grabbed it. Her arms outstretched in outrage,
Khanis and several other Australians sought to confront referee
In the end, the incident had no impact since Australia went on
to win 3-2 to safeguard its World Cup chances.
Khanis had already given the Australians the lead in the eighth
minute, and a penalty kick in the 16th could have put the game away
Instead, the Africans came back soon afterward when Anonman
scored in the 21st minute to tie the game.
Australia went ahead for good with two goals early in the second
half by Emily Van Egmond and Lisa De Vanna.
Australia coach Tom Sermanni was in a forgiving mood.
”I’ll take the referee out of the game; I mean, it’s not just
about the referees,” Sermanni said.
The victory kept Australia alive for a quarterfinal berth after
an opening loss to Brazil.
FIFA did not immediately respond to email and telephone messages
asking for comment on the handball.
Gaal, a 36-year-old economist and sports manager, has been
refereeing for 16 years and officiated the bronze medal game at the
last World Cup in China.