Late drama in sport can cause tin­gling sen­sa­tions

Bray People - - SPORT -

LEAV­ING things un­til the last minute is never a good idea; whether it be tax re­turns, writ­ing this col­umn or go­ing to the toi­let.

Gen­er­ally, the ear­lier the bet­ter. But not with sport. There is some­thing beau­ti­ful and un­ri­valled about late drama in sport. Wick­low’s out­stand­ing eleventh hour res­cue oper­a­tion against Tip­per­ary on Sun­day is the per­fect ex­am­ple. You go from empti­ness to eu­pho­ria with the kick of a ball.

Foot­ball has pro­duced umpteen tales of tri­umph so I’ve done what I do best and racked my brain and hit the Google ma­chine to con­jure up a list of the top ten foot­balling come­backs.

10: Carlisle United v Ply­mouth Ar­gyle: Carlisle go into the fi­nal day of the 1998/99 sea­son need­ing to beat Ply­mouth to avoid drop­ping out of the Foot­ball League af­ter 71 years there. With the score tied at 1-1, they’re awarded a 95 th minute cor­ner kick and goal­keeper Jimmy Glass popped up to score what was un­sur­pris­ingly, the big­gest goal of his ca­reer. He re­tired at 27 though af­ter con­tin­u­ing to drop down the ranks.

9: Bray Wan­der­ers 1, Mon­aghan United 1: Hav­ing drawn 0-0 in the first leg of this pro­mo­tion/rel­e­ga­tion play-off, it went all the way to the 118th minute of the sec­ond leg be­fore we fi­nally saw a goal. A strike from Mon­aghan mid­fielder Dom Tier­ney was de­flected into his own net by Chris Shields. Cel­e­brat­ing Mon­aghan fans col­lapsed a wall and when or­der was fi­nally re­stored, Wan­der­ers found the most un­likely equaliser to force penal­ties where the ear­lier vil­lain, Shields, dis­patched the win­ning spot kick.

8: Ju­ven­tus 2, Manch­ester United 3: On their way to Cham­pi­ons League glory in 1999, the Red Devils came up against the Old Lady. A 1-1 draw at Old Traf­ford left this tie on a knife edge but two goals in­side the open­ing 11 min­utes in Turin by Pippo Inzhagi left United reel­ing.

Worse was to come as skip­per Roy Keane was booked, mean­ing if United did make the fi­nal, he would have to sit it out. This in­spired the Cork­man to a su­per­hu­man per­for­mance though and his header kick-started an his­toric re­cov­ery which was com­pleted by Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole.

7: Middlesbrough 4, Basel 1: Trail­ing 20 from the first leg, Middlesbrough’s mas­sive task sprouted wings as Ed­uardo tapped home mid­way through the first half.

Mark Viduka (what a man) of­fered hope be­fore half time and he grabbed a sec­ond to re­ally put the shits up their Swiss op­po­nents.

Jimmy Floyd Has­sel­baink sank a screamer to set up a tense fi­nale, and Mas­simo Mac­carone made him­self a folk­lore hero as he struck a 90th minute win­ner.

(6.5): That stun­ning per­for­mance from ‘Boro set up a semi-fi­nal against Steaua Bucharest. Bucharest had a 0-3 ag­gre­gate lead at the River­side, mean­ing the hosts needed an­other four-goal sal­va­tion job.

Mac­carone got the come­back un­der­way, Viduka’s header made home fans dream, Chris Rig­got made them wideeyed with the third and Mac­carone re­peated his hero­ics as he stole an 89th minute win­ner to send ‘Boro to the fi­nal. Un­for­tu­nately, that ended in a 4-0 thump­ing at the hands of Sevilla.

6: Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur 3, Manch­ester United 5: In the early noughties, Spurs were an in­con­sis­tent side that rarely trou­bled the big teams. Much has changed so. On this par­tic­u­lar day, Dean Richards, Les Fer­di­nand and Chris­tian Ziege had all man­aged to find the net in a fran­tic first half at White Hart Lane to give the hosts a 3-0 lead at the break.

As they have an­noy­ingly per­fected over the last decade though, United con­jured up a mi­nor mir­a­cle to storm back in the sec­ond half and win.

Andy Cole, Lau­rent Blanc, Ruud Van Nis­tel­rooy, Juan Se­bas­tian Veron (he was a dodgy look­ing chap) and Golden Balls him­self all struck to break Spurs hearts.

5: An­gola 4, Mali 4: Oh yes, the one you’ve all been wait­ing for. The African Cup of Na­tions can pro­vide some belt­ing ties and this one will take some beat­ing. An­gola lead 4-0 with 11 min­utes to play and were dancing some very smooth jigs of de­light. But the rug was pulled from un­der their feet quite quickly.

Sey­dou Keita seemed to have re­stored pride as he made it 4-1. For­mer Spurs man Freddy Kanoute headed in a sec­ond but the Malians were two goals short go­ing into in­jury time. But the drama didn’t end there (hence why it made the list). Keita caused delir­ium when he re­duced the deficit to a sin­gle goal and then Mustapha Yatabare (of En Avant de Guingamp ‘fame’) com­pleted the most hec­tic come­back ever seen on BBC3 (African Cup of Na­tions isn’t main­stream enough for the big boys, ap­par­ently).

4: Manch­ester City 3, QPR 2: One word; Aguerooooooo! Martin Tyler will be im­mor­talised by his giddy com­men­tary on this mind-blow­ing Pre­mier League fi­nale.

City just needed to dis­pose of lit­tle old QPR to scoop their first top flight crown in 44 years. Pablo Za­baleta set them on their way be­fore half time.

Djib­ril Cisse stunned City and handed the ad­van­tage to City’s ri­vals with an equaliser, be­fore a Jamie Mackie ef­fort hands the lead to ten-man QPR.

United fans were al­ready cel­e­brat­ing their 20th Pre­mier League crown when Edin Dzeko net­ted in the 92nd minute but those cel­e­bra­tions were hi­lar­i­ously cut short (Phil Jones’ face gets me ev­ery time) as Ser­gio Aguero drilled home in the 95th minute. I will ad­mit, hear­ing “Aguerooooo” that first time made my pe­nis tingle a bit, and I’m a Liver­pool fan.

3: New­cas­tle United 4, Ar­se­nal 4: There’s some­thing qui­etly pleas­ing about see­ing Ar­se­nal fail. This match proved even more giv­ing than usual; the Gun­ners raced into a 0-4 lead thanks to goals from Theo Wal­cott, Djourou and Robin Van Per­sie (2).

On 68 min­utes, Johnny Do-Gooder Joey Bar­ton net­ted from the penalty spot to make it 1-4. Ir­ish in­ter­na­tional Leon Best added an­other 15 min­utes from time be­fore Bar­ton struck again from 12 yards with seven min­utes left.

It al­most seemed in­evitable that when the ball broke to Cheik Tiote on the edge of the area, his blast from dis­tance would find the net and it did. Sen­sa­tional stuff. Does any­one else think Tiote looks a bit like a turnip?

2: Manch­ester United 2, Bay­ern Mu­nich 1. Yeah, what­ever.

1: Liver­pool 3, AC Mi­lan 3: Is it any sur­prise? 3-0 down to an AC Mi­lan team rid­dled with qual­ity, a Liver­pool side fea­tur­ing Djimi Traore can­celled the Ital­ian side’s lead in a manic six minute. It was such an out­stand­ing night, mammy Gor­man let me stay up for an ex­tra hour be­fore bed.

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