A dog eager to run around the field and chase a ball with the other soccer players found an unexpected friend in one of the teams' goalies.    

Playful Pooch Invades Soccer Pitch, Pals Up With Goalie

Meaningless soccer games are often boring but this one's definitely gone to the dogs... or in this case “dog”. Both Europa League Group L teams competing at Philip II Arena in Skopje, Macedonia on December 7th, 2017 had previously been eliminated from post-season play so the mood in the stands was somnolent to say the least. That would suddenly change, due to an unauthorized substitution courtesy of Man's Best Friend.    

Playful Pooch Invades Soccer Pitch, Pals Up With Goalie

The incident occurred in the 74th minute of the game, tied 1-1 at that point, between Skopje-based FK Vardar and visiting Norwegian team Rosenborg. As Juan Felipe of FK Vardar lined up for a free kick, a husky-type dog ran onto the pitch and began sniffing around at mid-field.

Playful Pooch Invades Soccer Pitch, Pals Up With Goalie

The referee noticed the distraction and halted play while Vardar's goalkeeper, Filip Gacevski, ran up to the meandering mutt and attempted to usher it off the field. “No dice,” said the dog (presumably), “a bunch of guys chasing a ball around a field is where I wanna be!”     

Playful Pooch Invades Soccer Pitch, Pals Up With Goalie

Seemingly to prove his point, the dog dropped to the ground as Gacevski approached, rolled over on its back, and played... well, just played, period. Gacevski did what any decent dude would do in that situation: he gave the friendly pup a belly rub. At that point, security officials showed up and gently (though firmly) escorted the wayward woofer to the sidelines. You can watch it on video c/o Ale Padin's Twitter feed. (via AJC and Business Insider, photos by AP/Boris Grdanoski)

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