Modern footballers are sometimes prone to dirty play and cheating, especially when the tension and the stakes are so high.
Sportsmanship is by no means a certainty, but one Romanian player has proven he’s still alive and well in the beautiful game.
On Friday night, Sepsi OSK hosted Petrolul Ploiesti in Romania’s top-flight Liga 1 division.
In the dying moments of added time at the end of the first half, Petrolul goalkeeper Octavian Valceanu appeared to go down injured trying to claim a cross from the left flank.
The ball fell into the feet of Sepsi midfielder Cosmin Matei, who had a great chance to make it 2-0 at his side before the break.
However, the Romanian player, who made two appearances for his country, did something quite extraordinary.
Instead of shooting the ball towards the target from close range, in what would have been an easy scoring chance for the 31-year-old, he kicked him out of the game.
It was surely a surprise decision for the rest of his teammates, with Pavol Safranko visibly shocked at what his fellow Sepsi star had just done given that the odds were on the plate for him.
Romanian league player refuses to score when he sees goalkeeper injured in football
However, Matei could see that Valceanu was injured inside his penalty area and so decided to stop the game in what was an inspiring act of sportsmanship, even though replays show there are had little contact in the incident.
The goalkeeper was OK to continue for the rest of the game, with Matei being substituted in second-half stoppage time.
Sepsi went on to beat Petrolul 2-0 thanks to a brace from Mario Rondon, but one of the big stories will be proof that the spirit of the game is still shown in the modern game.
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