A THIRSTY goalkeeper chose the wrong time to have a drink during a second-tier football game in Germany.
Duisburg’s Dutch goalkeeper Mark Flekken had picked up a bottle behind his own goal-line and was not even watching the game against Ingolstadt when the inevitable happened in the 18th minute.
After hosts Duisburg had seen a goal harshly disallowed, Ingolstadt quickly moved the ball up the field. Duisburg defender Gerrit Nauber headed back to his goalkeeper, not realising that Flekken was still behind the line with his back to the ball. Stefan Kutschke ran in to score unchallenged as Flekken turned round too late.
“I heard the goal jingle and thought we were leading 2-0,” Flekken said.
“Of course the lads love such moments. I’m going to have to take a lot of flak from my teammates over the next weeks. I’ll take the drinking bottle home and burn it somewhere in the garden.”
In the end Flekken did have something to raise a glass to – Duisburg won 2-1 and rose to fourth in the second division.
Standing between the Matildas in Yokohama and a gold medal match is a formidable opponent in Sweden.
The Swedes haven’t lost a match all tournament, which has included a 4-2 win over Australia in the group stage.
Since then Australia drew to the USA in a cagey 0-0 affair, before downing Great Britain in a 4-3 extra time thriller for the ages on Friday.
As such, the Matildas have only won one match inside 90 minutes this Olympics campaign; a 2-1 win against New Zealand on July 21.
Reversing their result against Sweden last month would set up a final on Friday against the winner of United States or Canada.
That task, however, could be made that bit harder with news that star striker Sam Kerr is in doubt due to soreness and fatigue.
The Agereports that Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson is sweating on the fitness of Kerr, who scored braces against both Sweden and Great Britain, but is feeling the effects of four full games — including one that went to extra time — in nine days in oppressively hot and humid conditions.
Steph Catley, Ellie Carpenter, Tameka Yallop and Emily van Egmond have all battled that same toll.
“We have a couple of question marks, we are deep into the tournament,” Gustavsson said, according to the publication. “I want to be very clear… It’s not just about the starting line-up it’s about the finishing line-up.”
Rising star Mary Fowler is the most likely to replace Kerr, should the Matildas coaching staff decide she’s only fit enough for an impact role of the bench.
Elsewhere, Australia has no suspension or injury concerns heading into the semi-final.