Normally when a keeper scores a goal, that's the news. It's so rare and usually so unthinkable that seeing it is a joy in and of itself. This goal from the AFC U-16 Championships, however, is making headlines for an entirely different reason. Uzbekistan and DPR Korea were deadlocked at 0-0 in the second half when Uzbekistan goalkeeper Jasurbek Umrzakov scored from inside his own box — albeit with a WHOLE lot of help from his counterpart:
What?! Come on. Now, I don't want to call shenanigans, but let's review the tape: Umrzakov knocks an unthreatening boot downfield that winds up nowhere actually near any of his teammates. Under zero pressure, DPR Korea's keeper opts to rush out to play the ball and winds up totally overplaying it. Then he jogs to try and clear it, but falls en route. He gets up, scrambles toward his goal, dives to make a save attempt but ultimately fails.
Suspicious. But why would a U-16 side even potentially throw a match? As Uzbekistan went on to be 3-1 winners, they topped Group D with nine points and will face Iraq in the quarterfinals. Unable to get a result, DPR Korea finished second in the group, but will play Oman in the quarters. Nobody can definitively say — other than a coach, player or perhaps FIFA, should they choose to investigate. But it certainly looks like DPR Korea perhaps intended to avoid playing Iraq.
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Decide for yourselves if you think foul play was in the air.