Trailing the travelling Swans by two points with just over a minute left on the clock, Crows Mr. Fix-It Ben Keays snapped from the scoreboard pocket of the Adelaide Oval, his left-footed effort appearing to split the big sticks at the Hill End.
However, the officiating goal umpire opted to call the ex-Lion's shot a behind, believing the ball to have brushed the post on the way through.
Wasting no time, the Swans played on quickly pushing the ball up the field before taking the win in the September-shaping clash by a solitary point.
While officiators opted not to send the consequential snap upstairs to the review centre, angles published to social media in the wake of the result show that not only was a review required, it would have almost certainly overturned the outcome.
The bravest goal umpire in the world. It cleared the padding. The replay shows daylight between the post and the ball. Snicko didn’t work. If he had reviewed it you could easily make a case the ARC would have called it a goal. Adelaide will believe they should have won #afl pic.twitter.com/Ffk7qkz5Od
— Jon Ralph (@RalphyHeraldSun) August 19, 2023
I think it is fair to say had the goal umpire asked for a review it would have been deemed a goal … Adelaide can count itself very unlucky
— Glenn Mitchell (@MitchellGlenn) August 19, 2023
After the league reviewed the non-review, the outcome of the contest will remain the same.
"In the final minutes of the Crows-Sydney game, there was a goal umpiring decision that should have been reviewed, and that was a mistake," McLachlan stated.
"I want to say conclusively that if the decision had been reviewed, it would have been overturned and it would have been a goal."
While there are mathematical routes available for the Crows to play finals for the first time since 2017, Matthew Nicks' side will be forced to rely upon other results going their way.
Speaking post-game, Nicks stated that while the contentious loss stung, he and his up-and-coming team would trust the league's processes regarding the result.
“I'm on the bench, from where I was I can't tell you if it was a goal or not,” Nicks said.
“What I can tell you, my understanding is that we review those moments, especially at the end of games.
“We have just put trust in the process now, so as a footy club and as a coach that is all we can do.”
Adelaide CEO Tim Silvers was also magnanimous in defeat, stressing that despite the circumstances, the club was willing to accept that this was a clear case of human error.
“Human error is, and always will be, part of football and we recognise our own performance in the first half of the season-defining game was not at the standard we expect either,” Silvers said.
“We are also extremely proud of our players' effort, commitment and never give up attitude, which was again on show.
Still, Silvers didn't miss the opportunity to echo public sentiment, stating that if review technology is available, it should be utilised in situations such as Keays' snap.
“The failure to video review the scoring attempt in question is inexplicable given the enormity of the moment, not just for that game but also what it meant for our finals chances and those of other teams in the competition," Silvers buttressed.
“Having spoken to the AFL and with no further avenues to explore, we have no choice other than to turn our focus to the final home and away match of the season.
“While we will not participate in the upcoming finals series, we are determined to build on the progress our young playing group has made this year.”
With a fortnight until finals, the league has placed itself under further pressure regarding its vexing review system, with Keay's snap coming in the wake of Carlton scraping home against Melbourne after grainy footage was unable to conclusively show whether defender Caleb Marchbank failed to touch Christian Petracca's rushed shot or not.