Was Walker Zimmerman's stoppage time winner vs. Real Salt Lake deflected?

It was the debate on social media immediately after LAFC center back Walker Zimmerman won a Week 4 match against Real Salt Lake with a 92nd minute strike: Was it deflected or did it knuckle? 

It depends on whom you speak to. 

Zimmerman's teammate and assist man Niko Hämäläinen wasn't convinced either way -- “I didn’t see a deflection. I’m not sure,” he said after the match -- and his head coach was equally undecided though he had a suspicion: 

“I’m not sure. It might have. It’s possible," LAFC head coach Bob Bradley said postgame. "But from where I was, I couldn’t tell for sure. But it definitely might have just altered the way the ball moved.”

Real Salt Lake defender Donny Toia had no doubt, calling it a "crappy deflection," and the author of the goal was in his camp.

“It did take a little deflection on the way in," Zimmerman admitted after the match. 

Deflection or not, the goal belongs to the 25-year-old US national team center back, who last year matched a career high with four goals in black and gold.

“I was joking afterward with Walker -- if anybody’s going to beat us, an American international, a center back having a shot from the top of the 18, I’ll take that," Real Salt Lake head coach and former MLS center back Mike Petke said.


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