The Rio Report

Nation celebrates Sterling ‘goal’ that never was

The Rio Report

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What a start to England’s World Cup opener against Italy!

A couple of minutes in, teenage sensation Raheem Sterling strode forward and powered an unstoppable 25-yarder past Salvatore Sirigu and into the top right corner.

What a goal.

The Eurosport office erupted… but then we noticed something odd. Sterling wasn’t celebrating.

In fact, none of the England players were. And play was restarting with a goal kick. As experienced football journalists, we like to think we know when there’s been a goal – and we could have sworn that Sterling’s shot went in.

Alas, the shot actually went just wide and rippled the side netting.

What fools we felt.

Fortunately, we weren’t the only ones. In fact, an entire nation was caught out by a case of premature celebration.

Even the guy doing the BBC captions got swept away in the majesty of it all, optimistically ‘awarding’ the goal to England - see top photo.

Meanwhile over on Five Live, they refused to believe the ball went wide, claiming the ‘goal’ had been disallowed.

Across the nation, the story was the same – here’s a sampling of reaction from Twitter.

England could have done with the goal as they went on to lose the game 2-1, with Mario Balotelli scoring the winner after Daniel Sturridge had cancelled out Claudio Marchisio's strike.

[BALOTELLI CONDEMNS ENGLAND TO OPENING DEFEAT]

And if you still don't believe it went wide, here's the proof:

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Did Sterling's 'goal' catch you out? Let us know in the comments!

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