The Greatest Last-Minute Goals in Football
There’s nothing more dramatic than a late game-changer. But some late goals matter a whole lot more than others. Here’s a recap of those last-gasp goals that shook the football world:
1. Manchester City – QPR: 3-2, Premier League, 2012
The title was on the line between bitter rivals on the last day of the season. City had led the league for most of the season but were running out of steam badly.
On the last day City had to win or hand the title to Manchester United of all teams.
With seconds remaining and the score at 2-2, Sergio Aguero had other ideas. He danced past Onuoha’s lunge and scored at the near post to win City their first league championship since 1968.
2. Bayern Munich – Borussia Dortmund: 2-1, Champions League, 2013
Klopp’s Dortmund were a force of nature in 2013 and Bayern had to sit tight for the first half-hour. Slowly the game evened out and by the second half Munich had seized control without putting the game away.
Then with nothing on the clock Bayern pumped the ball forward, Ribery took it down first time and back-heeled it for Robben, who finished it off to avenge Bayern’s final defeats in 2010 and 2012.
3. Watford – Leicester: 3-1, Play-Offs, 2013
The match was well into injury time in the Championship semi-final at Vicarage Road.
Leicester were awarded a penalty and looked set to wrap the tie up. Anthony Knockaert stepped up but Almunia saved both the penalty and Knockaert’s tame follow-up.
Then Leicester could only watch as Watford broke forward. In seconds Troy Deeney had seized on a nod down to slam home, turn the game on its head and sent Watford to Wembley.
4. Real Madrid – Barcelona: 2-1, Copa del Rey, 2014
With five minutes left on the clock Gareth Bale steamed down the left wing. Marc Bartra tried to barge the Welshman into the crowd, but it didn’t make a difference.
For 20 yards Bale outpaced Barcelona’s defender from the other side of the touchline. Then he cut in, hustled Bartra aside and slotted it between Pinto’s legs. Madrid won the cup against their Clasico rivals.
5. Bayern Munich – Chelsea: 1-1, Champions League, 2012
Bayern had been on top for most of the match but didn’t take their chances. And then they did: Thomas Müller got what everyone thought would be the winning goal.
Except it wasn’t, because Drogba snuck in to glance a corner past Neuer minutes later. Chelsea held on for penalties and sealed the first Champions League title in their history.
6. Italy – Germany: 1-0 World Cup, 2006
Here’s the scene: there’s one-minute left in the semi-final with the game scoreless and about to go to penalties. Italy have a corner which comes out to Pirlo who slips a delicate pass through for Fabio Grosso.
The left-back doesn’t even take a touch. His perfect first-time shot curls past Lehmann to fire Italy into a final they were destined to win.
7. FC Porto – Benfica: 2-1, Portugal, 2013
Benfica could have won the treble in 2013, but this result was the start of a colossal meltdown. Jorge Jesus’ team had been unbeaten all season and visited Porto on 12 May needing to avoid defeat.
It was going to plan until the substitute Kelvin slammed the ball home in injury time from an acute angle. Benfica beat Moreirense the following week, but the collapse had started.
They lost to Chelsea in the Europa League final and Vitória S. C. compounded their misery in the cup final.
8. Brondby – FC Copenhagen: 0-1, Denmark, 2003
These two Copenhagen teams hate each other. In 2003 they met for what was the penultimate match of the Danish Superliga season. This would be the title decider and the score was goalless as the match entered injury time.
In the 93rd minute, FC Copenhagen drilled the ball into the box and the midfielder Hjalte Nørregaard showed up from nowhere to score the biggest goal of his career, at the home of the New Firm rivals no less.
9. Manchester United – Bayern Munich: 2-1, Champions League, 1999
Here’s another match that has entered football folklore.
Bayern had been in front for practically the whole match at the Camp Nou and it looked like United were all out of ideas.
It was injury time and time was running out if there was to be a treble for United and a first English European Champion for more than a decade.
Then United levelled when Sheringham turned Giggs’ mishit shot in at the near post. And in the 94th minute history was made when Solskjaer’s outstretched boot lifted Sheringham’s header into the net.
So Which Was the Greatest?
Grosso in 2006 can’t be overlooked, as Italy were facing a penalty shoot-out against a home crowd. But if you want a goal that changed the course of football history, look no further than Solskjaer at the Camp Nou in ’99.