Hoffenheim denied replay of phantom goal match

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Hoffenheim lost its bid for a replay of a Bundesliga match won by Bayer Leverkusen with a goal that shouldn't have been allowed.

Leverkusen's Stefan Kiessling was awarded the goal by referee Felix Brych in the Oct. 18 game when his header hit the side-netting and rolled into the goal through a hole. A German football federation tribunal ruled Monday that Brych didn't breach any rules in making his decision and let Leverkusen's 2-1 win stand.

"The decision may be unsatisfactory from a sporting point of view, but it corresponds to the rules and the laws," judge Hans E. Lorenz said. Hoffenheim has a week to decide whether it will appeal to a higher tribunal. The club is "of course disappointed" by the ruling and will review the decision "calmly" before making a decision, said Alexander Rosen, its director of professional football.

Brych told Monday's hearing that he thought the ball was going wide, lost sight of the ball, and "then I saw the ball was in the goal." Kiessling said that he initially thought Hoffenheim goalkeeper Koen Casteels had scored an own goal.

He told the tribunal that he saw the ball heading toward the side-netting, but his view was blocked. "I didn't see the impact, but (did see) that the ball was then in the goal," he said.

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