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10 thrilling late goals scored in World Cups

Neelabhra Roy
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Robbie Keane's last-minute goal eventually heped Ireland make it to the knockout stages in the 2002 World Cup
Robbie Keane's last-minute goal eventually helped Ireland make it to the knockout stages in the 2002 World Cup

We are less than six months away from the commencement of the 2018 FIFA World Cup at Russia. The country will be packed with football fans eager to witness the 32 teams take on each other to decide who gets to keep the coveted trophy for the next four years.

Over the course of 20 editions, the FIFA World Cup has witnessed many thrilling and dramatic encounters where last-minute brilliance has changed the fortunes of a team. Here are 10 thrilling last-minute goals in the FIFA World Cup.

Note: The list has been made considering which round the goal was scored in and what the result would have been had the goal not been scored. Due to such factors, some great goals including that of Karl-Heinz Schnellinger against Italy in the 1970 World Cup semi-final miss out.

#10 Robbie Keane vs Germany, 2002

The Republic of Ireland made it to their third FIFA World Cup in 2002 in spite of being drawn in a tough qualifying group alongside Portugal and Netherlands. The Irish had defeated Iran in a two-legged Intercontinental playoff to make it to the finals in South Korea and Japan. Ireland were drawn in Group E of the tournament alongside Germany, Cameroon and Saudi Arabia and were expected to qualify from their group.

However, just before the start of the tournament, Ireland suffered a big blow when captain and star midfielder Roy Keane left the squad due to problems with the team coach Mick McCarthy. Ireland began their tournament with a 1-1 draw against Cameroon courtesy a right-footed volley by midfielder Matt Holland.

In their next game, Ireland were up against Germany who had thrashed Saudi Arabia 8-0 and it was the Germans who took the lead in the 19th minute through Miroslav Klose’s header. Ireland tried hard but were unable to find a way past the resilient Oliver Kahn.

Then, in the dying stages of injury time, a long ball by right back Steve Finnan found Niall Quinn who headed the ball towards Keane and his shot from close range went past the German keeper to give the Republic of Ireland a point. They then beat Saudi Arabia 3-0 to qualify for the last 16 where they lost to Spain on penalties.

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