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Kiessling still concerned over 'phantom goal' fallout

Stefan Kiessling of Bayer Leverkusen celebrates with supporters after the German Bundesliga soccer match against Vfl Bochum in Leverkusen Au
Stefan Kiessling of Bayer Leverkusen celebrates with supporters after the German Bundesliga soccer match against Vfl Bochum in Leverkusen Au

BERLIN (Reuters) - Bayer Leverkusen striker Stefan Kiessling is still dealing with the effects of the 'phantom goal' he scored against Hoffenheim earlier this month despite the German federation ruling against a replay of the encounter.

Last season's Bundesliga top scorer had to shut down his Facebook page on Wednesday to end continued verbal abuse by people who thought he should have told the referee the ball had gone in through the side netting in their 2-1 win at Hoffenheim.

"There is a bit of concern because you do not know what else can happen and when it will finally stop," Kiessling told Bild newspaper on Thursday.

"There were moments when I cursed the goal and wished I could turn back the clock."

Kiessling's 70th-minute header flew just wide of the post and hit the side netting but went through a hole and ended up in the goal.

Referee Felix Brych awarded a goal after consulting his assistants, putting Leverkusen 2-0 ahead at the time and triggering an outcry over the mistake and the need for goalline technology in Germany, a tool already in use in other domestic and international competitions.

"I had problems sleeping because of the whole situation surrounding this header," said the former Germany international.

"At the end we were awarded the three points. It is just a difficult situation."

Champions League competitors Leverkusen, who are third in the Bundesliga, one point off leaders Bayern Munich, travel to Eintracht Braunschweig on Saturday.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; editing by Alison Wildey)

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