Portugal players call for an offside ruling after South Korea's Kim Jin-su scored a goal on Friday.
Portugal players call for an offside ruling after South Korea’s Kim Jin-su scored a goal on Friday. (Molly Darlington/Reuters)

South Korea’s Kim Jin-su just pushed the ball in the back of the net, but the goal won’t be counted in the match with Portugal because it was ruled offside.

If you’re wondering what offside means, here’s what you need to know:

First of all, only the team with possession of the ball in its opponent’s half of the field can be offside. 

Let’s say a player on Team A is attacking with the ball. If this player’s teammate — head, arms, body and feet included — is ahead of the ball and doesn’t have at least two of Team B’s players (including the goalkeeper) in line or in front of them when the ball is played, then this teammate is offside.

It’s kind of like conveniently camping out at the goal post, waiting to receive the ball.

Even if this teammate was not passed the ball, the fact that they were positioned this close to the goal or opposition goalkeeper ahead of time makes them offside, colloquially referred to as “still interfering with play.”

And timing is of the essence. Because when the teammate receives the ball while onside, they are then free to outrun Team B’s players, get close to the goal and score.

The exception to this rule is corner kicks, goal kicks and throw-ins.



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