The goalkeeper who wasn’t there

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It’s injury time and your team desperately need a goal, either to even the score or to win it when only victory will suffice. Corner to your side. The goalkeeper meanders forward and joins the melee inside the penalty-area, trying to save the day by slamming it home.

We've all been there at least once. The idea of last-minute salvation from the keeper is thrilling, fans leap to their feet, but 99.9999% of the time, the custodian's trip up-front doesn’t pay off. There’s no goal at all, not even close – only the frustration and the sour taste of defeat knocking at the door.

But the worst thing – the worst thing imaginable – is that an opponent clears the ball and knocks it into the unguarded goal. Right?

Yeah, that’s what I thought too, before watching yesterday’s Centro Limoeirense v Petrolina clash for the Pernambuco State championship.

Then I discovered that it can get worse. So much worse. And it can get worse when your defender, as Centro’s Paulo Ricardo did, forgets that your keeper is at the wrong end and inadvertently passes the ball back towards his own goal.

Yesterday, Petrolina’s forward Alan gleefully collected the loose ball and slotted it into the empty net while Ibson the keeper, despite running as if there was no tomorrow, arrived too late (view the whole hilarious spectacle here).

“It was a lack of communication," muttered Ibson. "We got the ball, but my team-mate passed the ball back to me and I wasn’t there.” Yes, almost everyone saw it, pal – except for the only man who mattered... Nevertheless, it was Ibson who became the scapegoat. Even the ball boy slated him!

Oh, the pitiful fate of the goalkeeper... Neném Prancha (1906-1976), Brazil's foremost football philosopher once wrote: “Damned is the goalkeeper. Wherever he sets his feet, not even the grass will grow.”

But as it turns out, Ibson is not entirely alone. The very same thing happened in Germany when Hamburg's Dutch international Rafael van der Vaart suffered a similar fate earlier this season with his side desperately needing an equaliser. Why not check out this one too? Then pray it doesn't happen to you.

Van der Vaart looks sheepish after moment of madness