All the best strikers are maniacally obsessed with scoring goals. Everyone knows about this single-mindedness, and yet it can still be a little jarring to hear just how deep this drive goes. Like this weekend, when Harry Kane made his case that he’d gotten a touch on a goal that had been credited to a teammate by swearing on the life of his young daughter.
The goal in question was Tottenham’s second in Saturday’s match against Stoke City. From a free kick, Christian Eriksen sent in a cross that flew into the box, sailed right past (or maybe onto?) the head and shoulder of Kane, and then hit the back of the net. Kane celebrated the goal as if he’d gotten a touch, but the league’s official scorekeepers gave the goal to Eriksen.
It’s damn near impossible to tell if Kane got a slight, imperceptible touch or not, even when slowed down:
Either way, you might think this whole thing would be a moot point. You’d be wrong. Here’s what Kane said after the match when informed that the scorekeepers had been officially credited the goal to Eriksen:
“Have they? I swear on my daughter’s life that I touched the ball, but there’s nothing I can do. If they turn it around, they turn it around. If they take my word, they take my word.
It is what it is, the most important thing is that we won the game.”
Quite dramatic language there for something so seemingly meaningless! Kane’s motivation to claim the goal does make some sense. He’s a striker, and strikers love goals, plus he’s won the league’s Golden Boot award for being the highest scorer for two years running now and no doubt wants to best Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah this season for the threepeat. If can were awarded the Eriksen goal, it would put him on 25 for the year, four back of Salah’s 29. He reportedly doesn’t have a contract bonus for winning the Golden Boot, but pride is justification enough for wanting every goal you can muster—just maybe not when that pride involves putting up your child’s life as collateral.
In support of their forward, Tottenham lodged an official appeal with the league to get them to grant the goal to Kane instead of Eriksen. In a surprising turn of events, the league announced today that Spurs’ appeal had been successful and added the goal to Kane’s tally. They described their process of determining whose goal it was like this:
The goal had originally been awarded on the day to Christian Eriksen, but after taking the player’s testimony into account and reviewing the match footage, a three-person panel agreed that the final touch on the ball belonged to Kane.
The video evidence above doesn’t seem conclusive one way or the other, which would have you believe the goal probably should’ve remained Eriksen’s. But when you factor in Kane’s testimony, it makes more sense that the appeal panel would reverse the original decision and give it to the striker. If Kane is willing to put the life of his own daughter on the line for a single stinking goal, there’s no telling what he’d do to three random panelists who denied him what he covets most. But hey, at least little Ivy Jane is safe now.