Penalty shootouts are cruel at the best of times, but I’ve never seen anything like this.

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This is Giuseppe Guastella, a FIFA player so good he plays for the esports branch of the LA Galaxy, taking what would be the final shot in a shootout. As you, and everyone else with eyes can see, the ball strikes the left upright, cannons back across the face then goes in. The net ripples, the ball ends up resting at the back, it’s a goal.

Only FIFA 2o, for whatever reason, doesn’t count it. Compare the visuals with the commentary in Guastella’s recording below:

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That’s heart-breaking. What’s worse is that the tournament organisers, despite seeing the ball go in, sided with the game’s determination that it did not go in and knocked Guastella out of the North American qualifiers for the FIFA Ultimate Team Champions Cup.

Even though it went in. And we could all see it.

“If this was any other top-tier professional competing in another esports game, things like this wouldn’t happen!” Guastella said afterwards, and he’s right! Bugs and hiccups are a part of video game life, but the fault here surely lies with the tournament organisers and rules allowing such a glaring technical error to stand.

Even if there’s no scope to count the goal, surely that’s grounds for a replay, as much as a disconnect or hardware failure is at any other pro gaming tournament.

Because as annoying as that might have been for organisers, the alternative—the mess we’ve seen above—is surely worse!

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Luke Plunkett is a Senior Editor based in Canberra, Australia. He has written a book on cosplay, designed a game about airplanes, and also runs cosplay.kotaku.com.

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