Watch as unused Club San Martín de Marcos Juárez substitute Mauricio Gomez Arias runs on to the pitch to save a shot destined for the net during their match with Club Sarmiento de Bell Ville in a lowly regional Argentinian league.
Playing in the playoff semi-final of Córdoba province’s Liga Bellvillense de fútbol second-tier, Bell Ville striker Ciocca Bernardo managed to beat San Martín’s goalkeeper Damien De Genno but did not account for substitute Mauricio Gomez Arias’s sudden appearance on the field.
The so far unneeded replacement saw the obvious danger and jumped in goal to make the save. Confusion ensues and, as the Bell Ville players make furious protestations to the referee, the unlikely San Martín hero is sent off.
Gomez Arias runs off the pitch to cheers from the home fans as his team continue with eleven men. His achievement was then celebrated further as Bell Ville were unable to score from the resulting indirect freekick.
Explaining his actions, Gomez Arias said:
I had seen ball-boys in Brazil do it.
We were playing at home, and had lost the away leg. It was 0-0, we were attacking and couldn’t score.
Then came a counter-attack, the Bell striker came forward and our defender fell over – when our keeper came out and didn’t get the ball I don’t know what happened – I went out (on to the pitch), it was instinct.
I knew it was a sending-off. I wanted to avoid wasting time with any arguments – there were still 15 minutes left.
I regret what I did, but that’s life. These things happen.
The incident failed to spark the home team into life though and Bell Ville went on to beat San Martín one-nil and progress to the final.