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Watch The Most Dramatic Goal In Promotion History

I’m putting this here because, as any good website on the internet dot com, I think we should be a warm home for all the best clips YouTube has to offer. Up until this point, as far as I can tell, we were missing this one, one of the great examples of sporting madness.

Leicester City were awarded a late penalty in the second leg of their 2013 playoff semifinal with Watford. The winner would play Crystal Palace for a spot in the Premier League the following season. The semifinal was tied 2-2 on aggregate, with Leicester having the only away goal; they were in a great position.

Anthony Knockaert took the penalty for Leicester. The game was in its 97th minute. If he scored, he would seal his team’s spot in the playoff final at Wembley. Even if he didn’t score, the clock might run out and Leicester would be going to the final. The only thing that couldn’t happen if Leicester was to advance was exactly the thing that did.

Knockaert’s penalty was saved by Manuel Almunia. The rebound was live, and Knockaert followed up only to have Almunia stuff him again.

The next 17 seconds are still difficult to believe, and I’ve seen that clip hundreds of times.

Watford cleared it out of their box and stampeded down the right sideline. Both teams were storming back toward Kasper Schmeichel’s net. Watford’s Fernando Forestieri swung in a cross. Schmeichel was far, far out of position, having thought he could catch the high cross. Jonathan Hogg got to it for Watford instead. He nodded it back toward the center of the box.

Troy Deeney, who had sprinted the entire length of the pitch in 15 seconds, didn’t break stride. He absolutely obliterated the ball past the still-flapping Schmeichel and into the net. Pandemonium ensued. Deeney ripped his shirt off and jumped into the crowd. The rest of the stadium flooded onto the pitch in celebration. Watford’s manager, Gianfranco Zola, sprinted Pep-style down the sideline and wiped out in the process. The announcer shouted these great words, “Do not scratch your eyes! You are really seeing the most extraordinary finish here.”

A few kicks later, after the fans cleared the pitch, in the 11th minute of stoppage time, the incredible game ended. Watford advanced 3-2 on aggregate. They lost to Crystal Palace in the final.

All parties involved can admire – or chuckle at - that goal properly now.

If you have perspective at all as a sports fan, you know what you’re investing your time in something that doesn’t really matter. Every once in a while though, a rush of insanity reminds you that…well…it still doesn’t exactly matter, but it can make a lot of people suddenly feel a lot of joy.

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