Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Players Stand Up for Payne after 'Handball' Goal

Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Players Stand Up for Payne after 'Handball' Goal

Article excerpt

Byline: Liam Fitzgibbon

SYDNEY FC and Wellington players leapt to the defence of sky blues' teenage striker Chris Payne after he found himself the centre of the A-League's own handball controversy following Saturday night's preliminary final.

Payne came under fire from Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert after Sydney's 4-2 win at the Sydney Football Stadium, in which he came off the bench to score twice to help his side into the grand final.

The young striker's second goal, which put Sydney up 2-1, appeared to be scored off his forearm but was allowed by referee Peter Green.

Herbert labelled the goal "three times worse" than other famous handball incidents in world football such as Diego Maradona's "Hand of God" goal and Thierry Henry's more recent "Hand of Frog" goal for France.

He also questioned Payne's ethics and professionalism but fellow players took a more understanding view of the incident.

Strike partner Alex Brosque said the goal was clearly accidental after Payne missed an attempted header. …

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