They say anything can happen in a European soccer match. But an episode that happened in the Dutch Cup that was just that -- anything -- has gone viral on the Internet.
The Ajax were leading AZ Alkmaar 1-0 in the 35th minute of the Dutch Cup round of 16 match. A fan raced onto the pitch. He went directly for AZ keeper Estaban Alvarado, known for his fiery, Costa Rica personality.
Alvarado proceeded to defend himself, and the team's honor presumably, by kicking the fan -- hard. Alvarado ended up getting a red card for his actions -- go figure.
Its an odd rule that says if a player uses brutality or excessive force while not making a play for the ball -- including a move like that against a fan -- the player is to be sent from the field.
Alkmaar coach Gert Jan Verbeek told his team to leave the pitch after the red card and the match was called off with the Ajax in the lead, 1-0.
Verbeek ordered the team off the pitch to control the situation and in the dressing room our players said that they don't feel safe anymore on the pitch, said Alkmaar's technical director Earnest Stewart, according to Reuters.
The 19-year-old who invaded the pitch was arrested and in the end the Dutch Football Association, thankfully, rescinded Esteban's red car, saying he was attacked unexpectedly and therefore the prosecutor judged that his mood caused his response against his attacker.
See the video below: