Playful Dog Halts Soccer Game After Invading Pitch for Strokes: 'Red Card'

An international soccer match in Chile took an unexpected turn over the weekend after a pitch invading dog halted play.

On Saturday, the Chile women's national soccer team played host to South American rivals Venezuela at the Estadio La Granja, Curicó.

A friendly match serving as a warm-up for the Copa América Femenina, the game wasn't exactly action-packed with Chile mustering just one shot on target and Venezuela ultimately triumphing 1-0 thanks to a brilliant Mariana Speckmaier goal eight minutes from time.

However, by then, the match's main highlight had already been and gone. That came in the 37th minute when, for reasons still unknown, a dog decided to run onto the pitch.

Pitch invaders are nothing new in the world of soccer, but dog interlopers are a little less common. There are myriad reasons why someone may want to enter the field of play.

Some do it for attention, others to protest a particular issue. Then are those who simply get carried away by the excitement of it all. Alcohol can often play a part too. In the case of this marauding canine, the main motivation appears to have been a simple one: this dog just wanted some cuddles.

The good news is, despite disrupting the game itself, this pet pooch got his wish, with several players and even the referee herself stopping to give the super cute canine a few strokes, belly rubs and tickles for good measure.

Even better still, the crowd, much like the dog itself, lapped it up, with the unexpected interruption drawing widespread cheers and applause.

In the video, Chile goalkeeper Christiane Endler can be seen dishing out a tummy rub to the happy dog, before Brazilian match official Deborah Cecilia Correia gets in on the act.

After several seconds of heavy petting, an attempt is made to try and get the dog off the pitch, but he initially evades capture, opting to bound off towards the center circle, much to the delight of those watching in the stands.

Eventually Chile teammates Yenny Acuña and Javiera Toro succeed in escorting the canine off the field, with the game resuming soon after.

But while the dog's appearance may have been brief, it was soon the talk of social media. TNT Sports Chile first shared footage of the "very special guest" to Twitter in a clip that has been viewed over 400,000 times.

However, it was another tweet from soccer enthusiast Karri_Kemyst that ended up going stratospheric. "EVERYBODY STOP RIGHT NOW AND WATCH THIS!!!" she wrote alongside the video. "THIS IS WHAT WE ALL NEEDED!"

Her assessment was evidently correct. At the time of writing, her video has amassed 7 million views as well as more than 39,000 retweets and 332,000 likes. Another version of the clip was also shared to TikTok by TSN, where it has garnered 2.9 million views.

Newsweek has contacted the Football Federation of Chile and Karri_Kemyst for comment.

On Twitter, EamusAndy commented: "At this point, if i were the ref—I'd just call the game and let everyone play with the dog," while CoolieOhTTV claimed: "This is the most entertainment anyone will ever get out of soccer."

DavidtDunlop also joked: "So this is football? Why did nobody mention to me they had dogs in it?! Where can I buy a season ticket?"

Over on TikTok, the quips came similarly thick and fast. Annahousen was convinced "at home someone is watching saying 'that's my dog!'" with bbzzd jokingly calling for the canine to receive a "red card" for their actions.



♬ original sound - TSN

Andy Ketterson, by contrast, felt the dog deserved a "treat card for being the best boi," while Cole Whiteman suggested: "His doggo friends dared him to streak. Mission accomplished."

Jelena Milovanovi117 urged the players to "give him the ball," with bluesparks123 convinced it was probably "best day of that dog's life."

This isn't the first time a soccer-loving dog has made the news. One canine became an overnight celebrity after his reaction to seeing the England national team win again was recorded and subsequently went viral. Another dog went one better still in Chile after running onto the pitch and scoring a goal.

Dogs love nothing more than playing fetch balls, sticks and other random objects—but owners should always take care to make sure their pets don't bite off more than they can chew.

That advice comes after a 2017 study by scientists from the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna found when dogs carry something, they place more weight on their front legs. That means carrying particularly heavy items can result in significant joint strains and injuries unless their owner intervenes.

A dog on a soccer pitch.
A dog on the pitch at a soccer game in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2019 - an almost identical scene played out during a recent international match in Chile. Marcelo Endelli/Getty