Ok, sure, you've seen animals invade soccer games before. Even Rio Tinto Stadium had a duck invade during a league match last season, the bird taking its time to get off the field before being shooed off in the thick of a game rife with postseason implications.
But the animal game stepped up a notch on Wednesday during the Leagues Cup clash between Real Salt Lake and Tigres UANL at Rio Tinto Stadium, as a cat not only entered the field during play, but also made an outstanding run in the channel and all the way to goal while Tigres' Andre-Pierre Gignac attempted to dribble along the sideline.
A couple things to point out here: It looks like the cat briefly gets a touch -- could you call it a flick? -- on the ball as it zooms by, and while Gignac was initially distracted by the furry teammate putting in the work on the field, the French star quickly recovered and drove towards goal before missing the shot. After all, he knows a well-timed run off the ball is an attacker's best friend.
And that's the other thing: The cat didn't run aimlessly in a circle, or try and take up the spotlight by plopping down in the middle of the action. It entered the field with a head of steam, ran towards the action, ran toward goal to help a feline teammate (they are called Tigres, after all), and exited the field of play in a coordinated motion, with Tigres clinching the 1-0 win shortly afterward. It was truly a thing of beauty, and here's hoping there's a game ball (sprinkled with catnip) waiting for the four-legged interloper.