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Crazy Free Kick Saves Coventry Women From Relegation In Final Minute Of Season

A club on the brink, a season-long comeback and one spectacular last-minute goal; during the past six months, Coventry United Ladies have endured a lifetime's worth of drama.

In mid-January, Coventry was 10 points below the relegation line in the FA Women's Championship — England's second tier — the result of a struggle that began before a single match was played.

The club went fully professional in the lead-up to the current campaign but it soon encountered difficulty remaining solvent. Due to outstanding debts, Coventry United was liquidated on December 24 and given a two-week deadline to secure an investor, otherwise, the club would be formally dissolved.

In stepped English businessman Lewis Taylor, who purchased the club and cleared its debts, calling it the "right thing to do." Taylor's takeover ensured the survival of the club, but Coventry received a 10-point deduction from the FA for its voluntary liquidation — leaving the team on negative four points and a mile from safety. 

Coventry clawed its way back with a seven-match unbeaten run, leaving a final-day relegation decider against Watford. In the 12-team league, Watford sat 11th, two points ahead of Coventry. The Hornets knew that a draw would be enough for them to avoid the single relegation spot. For 95-plus minutes, the match stayed scoreless, which meant that Watford would remain a second-tier side and Coventry would go down.

Then in the 97th minute, Coventry had a free kick — the ball 32 yards out from goal and about even with the left edge of the six-yard area. Up stepped Coventry midfielder Mollie Green, and with the season on the line, she delivered the strike of a lifetime. Cue the scenes:

"I didn't even see it hit the back of the net," Green said after the match, "I just knew it was going in. I hit it really sweetly and the rest is history."

Good luck finding a better goal in a more meaningful situation this season.

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