Top 5 best last gasp goals in the FA Cup finals
Nothing is as exhilarating as a last-gasp goal in football and you love it when a team scores in the dying minutes of a game to change the course of the game. And when these goals come in the final of a tournament, then the excitement is higher.
FA Cup has also witnessed such famous last-gasp goals which have brought teams from the jaws of defeat while causing heartbreak for the opposition. Who can forget the 35-yard strike by Steven Gerrard against West Ham in 2006?
The goal eventually took the match into extra-time and Liverpool managed to win the Cup in the penalty shootout. It just underlines the impact of last-gasp goals as they linger in memory years later.
As Arsenal prepare to take on Aston Villa in the final on Saturday, we take the opportunity to look at the five most dramatic and memorable goals scored in the dying minutes of an FA Cup final.
5. Ronnie Boyce (West Ham)
West Ham midfielder Ronnie Boyce scored a 90th-minute header as the Hammers beat Preston North End 3-2 in the 1964 FA Cup final. Doug Holden opened the scoring for Preston in the 10th minute only for it to be cancelled by John Sissons.
Preston went ahead right before half-time as Alex Dawson put them ahead in the 40th minute. West Ham equalised after Geoff Hurst struck in the 52nd minute. The match looked to be heading into extra-time when Boyce nodded home the winning goal at the Wembley.
4. Stuart McCall (Everton)
The 1989 FA cup final was a hotly contested match between bitter rivals Liverpool and Everton. It was one of the most pulsating finals with a flurry of late goals coming in the match. Liverpool opened the scoring early on through John Aldridge who struck in the fourth minute.
The match looked all but over as Everton failed to find a way past Liverpool. But McCall struck right at the end which was literally the last kick in the normal time. The goal made such an impact that Everton fans went delirious and invaded the pitch to congratulate the Everton players. Everton, however, lost the match 3-2 in extra-time as Ian Rush struck twice to cancel out McCall’s second goal of the game.
3. Ben Watson (Wigan Athletic)
This was a typical David vs Goliath final where Wigan Athletic faced the mighty Manchester City in 2013. It was the first time that Wigan were appearing in an FA Cup final. The scoreline read 0-0 as the clock showed 90 minutes when Wigan won a corner. Shaun Maloney went up to take the corner and sent in a teasing ball which found the head of Ben Watson.
The midfielder who had come on as a substitute sent a glancing header over Joe Hart as Wigan staged an unlikely win. That victory is now called one of ‘the greatest FA Cup final upset for a quarter of a century’.
4. Alan Sunderland (Arsenal)
This match between two great rivals; Manchester United and Arsenal is considered to have one of the best ever climaxes in an FA Cup final. Arsenal looked to be dominating proceedings after leading 2-0 till the 85th minute. Brian Talbot and Frank Stepleton were the scorers for Arsenal.
But United staged a dramatic comeback as Gordon McQueen scored from a set-piece in the 86th minute. Two minutes later, Sammy McIlroy skipped past two defenders to score a remarkable equaliser. As extra- time was looming, Alan Sunderland broke United hearts with a simple tap in. It was the last minute of normal time. The match is called the ‘Five-minute final’.
5 Steven Gerrard (Liverpool)
Steven Gerrard’s 35-yard long-ranger in the 2006 FA Cup final against West Ham is one that is the most recent on the list. It is also the best goal on the list. Liverpool were on the verge of losing the final at the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff when Gerrard unleashed this rocket strike.
Liverpool were trailing 3-2 when the midfielder latched onto a clearance from West Ham. His strike on the half-volley sailed past Shaka Hislop, sending the match into extra-time. Liverpool eventually won the Cup in the penalty shoot-out, but the final became famous because of Gerrard’s heroics.
Watch the top five goals struck in the dying minutes of FA Cup finals:
(Video courtesy of FATV)