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Neutral results which bothered you

edited November 2022 in Football

Has anyone ever had matches of any sport which they watched as a neutral but which bothered them long afterwards? I have three notables:

Chesterfield v Middlesbrough, FA Cup Semi. Chesterfield were 2-1 up and scored a third with 20 minutes or so to go which the referee did not see cross the line. Chesterfield would have been the only third tier team to ever make the final, and though they would likely have been beaten by Chelsea in the final, it would still have been an amazing achievement to get there. This was also when everyone still played full strength sides throughout the competition, so it is an achievement which can never really be replicated again.

Ghana v Uruguay, World Cup QF. Ghana should have been the first African team to make a WC semi - during the first tournament held in Africa, no less! Luis Suarez deliberately handled at the end and Ghana missed the penalty. This bugs me to this day - the Ghana v Netherlands SF would have been mouthwatering, and even if Ghana had gone no further it would have been an amazing achievement. It is the main reason I feel handballs on the line should just be given as goals.

Patriots v Giants, Super Bowl. The Patriots should have gone undefeated with what was an incredible team, but the Giants had the jammiest drive in the history of the universe to prevent it.


  • Hamilton and Verstsappen on the final lap fiasco last year. Never been keen on Hamilton at all, gave F1 a chance that day having lost interest many moons ago and it was farcical. Looked both bent and made up on the spot and put me off trying to get back into the sport I’m afraid.

  • Man City beating Gillingham in the 3rd tier play off in 1999. Nothing crooked about the result, but 2 goals down with only a few mins on the clock, a significant proportion of Man City fans had already left the stadium. Those supporters don’t deserve what has happened since...

  • 2004, when the wire colour changed from black to blue, just to fit in with Europe.

  • I disagree with that Ghana one @Shev. Suarez did what he should've done in that situation and was rightly punished by the ref. The fact that Ghana missed the penalty and then went on to not make the extra man advantage count was their own failing really.

  • Yep, hard to put the Ghana one in the same boat as the Chesterfield one. If you miss a pen and can't beat 10 men that's on you.

    If a ball that has gone over the line isn't given, that's an actual robbing.

  • I think one can feel that the Ghana result was, from a neutral's perspective, a "result which bothered you".

    @Malone and @Last_Quarter

  • Lampard's goal in SA versus Germany for any non English man or woman.

  • I'm not entirely sure too many neutrals were that disappointed by that!!

  • Maradona’s handball falls into same category.

    Interesting to see that the referee who missed it has just set his family up financially by selling the match ball for £2m. Funny old world

  • Yes, I was not saying Ghana were robbed per se, more that I hate how it played out, and just wish they had gone through.

  • Not that I particularly cared that much but the Thierry Henry handball that knocked Ireland out of a place in the World Cup a few years ago was high on the injustices scale

  • On a more general point I do find it hard to watch any sporting contest completely neutrally. I nearly always manage to conJure up a preferred winner for all sorts of obscure reasons (bias towards underdogs, x has better pubs than y, I once met someone I liked from z, a has better colours than b, etc, etc).

    At the same time, with the sole exception of Wycombe I really don’t care enough to be remotely peeved by any result.

  • Interesting what Uruguay's decision would have been if the rule was that the ref has to ask Ghana:

    (1) Suarez goes and you get a penalty

    (2) Suarez stays and you get the goal

  • It was the last kick of the match, surely they’d have taken the goal.

  • 91/92, FA Trophy Final. Colchester 3-1 Wilton Albion, meant they got the double. That season just bothered me in general!

    Interestingly I just looked at the list of final results, and our 4-1 win over Runcorn was the third biggest win in Trophy Finals bar 2x 4nil wins.

  • Oh my bad - didn't know that. Perhaps I should have made my question more generic. I'm sure you knew what I was getting at.

  • Not sure I was that neutral about Wales v Iran. Pre-match, I was hoping that Wales would only just edge it as an indication perhaps that England’s 6-2 victory over Iran was a true reflection of their strength and potential going forward. Against that, it’s hard not to be moved by the very visible emotional impact on the Iran players and supporters of the appalling political situation in their country. So, in the end, I felt pleased for Iran and for the indication (if not confirmation) that England are indeed going to be amongst the front runners.

    Let’s hope tonight’s match will provide further confirmation of England’s potential.

    Wasn’t sure whether to post this here or on the World Cup thread.

  • @bookertease makes a really great point about how hard it is to truly feel neutral watching any contest, as one is more likely to end up leaning one way or another. I second the idea that truly neutral games are harder to find, and I like them when they occur as there is less stress!

    For the sake of the question though, I definitely mean matches where you were not watching a team you actively support such as Wycombe, England, Stenhousemuir etc.

  • What í wouldn’t give to be neutral this evening.

  • Walsall vs Carlisle today bothers me. Should have been us. £41k + todays money we will have to earn in other ways.

  • Easy. Just don’t have mass brawls for the next 10 games….

  • We could buy a lot more fireworks with that extra cash!

  • The dream is free crisps in pristine toilets it seems

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