Cologne Defies Common Sense, Demands Replay Of 5-0 Loss To Borussia Dortmund

Cologne is winless in the Bundesliga, bottom of the table and the only team without a point. The Billy Goats were crushed 5-0 by league-leading Borussia Dortmund on Sunday. So of course Cologne is demanding the match be replayed because of a goal awarded by VAR. 

Most of the time, common sense prevails. This is not one of those times. Cologne was already down 1-0 and Dortmund hadn’t even bothered to stir Christian Pulisic from the bench. 

The goal in question occurred in first-half stoppage time when a corner kick was played into the box. Cologne goalkeeper Timo Horn went up for the ball and dropped it, where it fell to Sokratis Papastathopoulos, who poked it into the back of the net. The referee called a foul on Papastathopoulos, thinking he had hit Horn to jar the ball loose. VAR confirmed there was no foul and the goal was awarded.

Cologne’s complaint is that the whistle was blown before the ball went over the line. Common sense’s rebuttal is the whistle was blown less than a second before the ball trickled over the line without a Cologne defender nearby to do anything about it. Whistle or not, the ball was going in. 


Common sense would also say Cologne still loses 4-0 even if that goal isn't allowed. While goals change games, Cologne is in no position to suggest the team could have made any sort of comeback. The Billy Goats have scored one league goal all season to go with a minus-11 goal differential. Said Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke of the complaint: “To protest after losing 5-0 is the strong attitude of a bad loser.”

Cologne should probably go to timeout for a few weeks and cool off. Last week Cologne fans created havoc ahead of their Europa League match against Arsenal, with tens of thousands of Germans marching through the streets of London and causing the match to be delayed by an hour. Many of the fans made their way into Emirates Stadium by posing as Arsenal fans.

Is Cologne correct in saying the goal should not have stood? By the letter of the law, technically. By the spirit of the law (and the spirit of the game), the goal should stand. And Cologne should drop the matter like Timo Horn handling a corner kick. 

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