Niclas Füllkrug was beside himself. Werder Bremen’s striker couldn’t calm down on Wednesday evening in East Westphalia. In the 11th minute of the half-hour extra time, he was subsequently denied a goal to lead 3: 2 – although there are no video assistants in second-round cup games. This function was taken over in Paderborn by the assistant referee Guido Kleve and the fourth official Frederick Assmuth.
They want to have seen from the edge of the field that Füllkrug’s headed goal was preceded by a foul by Bremen’s Fabio Chiarodia on Paderborn’s Robert Leipertz. The referee Frank Willenborg did not notice the alleged foul because he watched Bremen’s Ilia Gruev take a corner kick. He informed his assistants about their perception of the alleged foul and then had the corner kick repeated. The goal was canceled and the score remained 2-2. Bremen later lost to second division club SC Paderborn on penalties. That didn’t help to calm down Fulkrug.
The Bremen resident then formulated his problem as follows: “I can’t imagine anyone seeing it from 50 meters away.” In addition, the slow motion raises doubts as to whether the alleged foul was one at all. This raised several concerns about the reasonableness of the procedure and the correctness of the decision. The fact that the Bremen foul was subsequently determined not to give Paderborn a free kick, but a repetition of the Bremen corner, also seemed questionable, since the ball seemed to be in motion when the alleged offense was committed.
The scene played out in detail as follows: In the 101st minute, Bremen’s Gruev just hit the corner kick in when Paderborn’s Leipertz went down in the penalty area, apparently hit in the face by Bremen’s Chiarodia’s shoulder. From exactly this point, a second later, next to Leipertz, who was lying on the ground, the Bremen filling mug headed the ball into the goal. Willenborg pointed to the middle, recognizing the hit. Then his assistants got in touch, there was a conversation between Assmuth, Willenborg and Kleve before Willenborg indicated that the corner would be retaken.
The wide-ranging intervention by the assistant was also confusing because a legitimate video assistant should not have considered this contentious foul as a reason to intervene, given that Willenborg’s decision to score was definitely not a clear mistake. Referee spokesman Lutz Michael Fröhlich could not initially be reached for an explanation.
Former referee Manuel Graefe tweeted: “In principle, the courage to take responsibility is to be welcomed, but here the fourth official goes too far, because the risk of not being able to grasp something correctly so far away and evaluating it incorrectly is too great. And that’s how it is here: It was no foul play. The goal should have counted.”
Bremen coach Ole Werner laconically called the decision “remarkable”. “I was surprised that the goal was taken back, mainly because the fourth official made the decision from a safe distance.” Füllkrug even had the suspicion that “the fourth official had heard something.”
A series of unpleasant days continued for Bremen on this cup evening, because after losing 2-0 to Mainz in the Bundesliga last Saturday, striker Marvin Ducksch was removed from the squad by his club before the cup game in Paderborn because he had missed relevant team appointments on Sunday. Rumor has it he partied extensively the night before. Coincidence or not, without Ducksch, Bremen initially had a hard time in Paderborn, were 2-0 down at the break and found the game late. Leonardo Bittencourt (65th) and Mitchell Weiser (84th) saved Bremen in the first place in the overtime, in which the controversial scene came about.