THIS IS the astonishing moment that Corinthians’ goalkeeper deliberately let a free-kick go past him and into the net – but it was for a genius reason.
The 36-year-old Cassio’s remarkable quick-thinking hit the headlines last week during his team’s Serie A clash with Atletico Mineiro in Brazil.
The shock moment occurred with only 15 minutes remaining of the top-flight showdown and the scores level at 1-1 – which is how the game finished.
Mineiro were awarded a free-kick midway in the Corinthians half and the taker proceeded to clip the ball straight towards the goal.
Cassio appeared to be coming out to gather the ball, however, at the last second he jumped out of the way to let it go into his goal.
There was complete shock around the stadium and initially amongst his team-mates, while several Mineiro players raised their arms to celebrate in the truly bizarre moment.
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But there was a catch, and it proved to be a stunning piece of play by Cassio.
The free-kick was actually indirect, and since nobody else touched the ball after the taker had kicked it, the veteran goalie soon realised that it would not count.
Therefore, he made no attempt to make a save in case he spilled or parried it to an attacker.
That would have made the game “live” again – but instead his actions led to the game restarting with a goalkick to for his team.
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The game’s laws state that if the ball goes directly into the opposing team's goal from an indirect free kick, a goal kick is awarded to the opposing team.
Meanwhile, if the ball goes directly into the kicking team's own goal, a corner kick is awarded to the opposing team.
Fortunately Cassio's knowledge of the rulebook was correct, but it seems that his manager was not so sure.
Boss Mano Menezes was spotted gesturing that his heart had been pounding once the ball hit the net.
Cassio, who came through the ranks at Gremio, has been with Corinthians for the past 12 years.
That was after he returned to his homeland from PSV Eindhoven in Holland where he won both the Eredivisie and Dutch Cup.
He has helped them to Club World Cup success in 2013 and won Serie A twice, while he was also part of the Copa America-winning Brazil squad in 2019.
Cassio, who has made a whopping 548 appearances for Corinthians, has only won one cap for his country, which came in 2017.
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