12 Best Last-minute Goals in Football

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There are many reasons to love football, and the last-minute game-changing goals are definitely one. 

It’s more epic when there’s something on the line like titles, pride, or even a ticket to the tournament’s next round.

The last-minute goals drama is so intense that sometimes you can feel it in the air whether you are watching it in the stadium or on TV with groups.

12 Best Last-minute Goals in Football

The article presents the 12 best last-minute goals in football, from domestic to international competitions. 

Let us find out which of the devastating last-minute goals make into our list. 

12. John Macken

  • Date: 4th February 2004
  • Match: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Manchester City
  • Competitions: FA Cup Fourth Round

The number 12th spot on our list of top 12 best last-minute goals in football dates back to 2004.

In the 2004 FA Cup fourth-round replay, Tottenham took a 3-0 commanding lead over 10 Manchester City. 

The City looked dead and buried, trailing by 3 goals in halftime. In addition, City star player Nicolas Anelka got injured, and Joey Barton was sent off within the first half. 

However, Sylvain Distin scored header 3 minutes after half before Anthony Gardner scored his own goal in the 61st minute.

Later, Wright Philips made it 3-3 in the 80th minute. Everyone thought the game was heading towards extra time. 

But John Macken headed a winner in 90 minutes to complete the miraculous comeback in football history. 

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11. Nacer Chadli

  • Date: 2nd July 2018
  • Match: Belgium vs. Japan
  • Competitions: World Cup Round of 16

When Belgium faced Japan in the 2018 Russia World Cup, Round of 16, everyone thought it would be a comfortable victory for Red Devils.

Although Belgium dominated most of the game, they fell a two-goal deficit against the Samurai Blue

Coming into the world cup, Belgium had one of the best-attacking units worldwide. So, when things are clicking correctly, they can produce plenty of goals. 

Later, Belgium attacking power proved too mighty for the Japanese. Vrtonghen and Fellini scored goals to tie the game. 

Later, in the 94th minute of added time game was supposedly heading towards extra time. But Belgium completed a historic comeback in the World Cup history. 

When De Bryune received a ball in the counter-attack at the 93rd minute, he had an open field ahead.

Nacer Chadli celebrates after scoring winning goal
Nacer Chadli celebrates after scoring the last-minute winning goal vs. Japan.

That’s situation is something nobody wants when the ball is with one of the dynamic creators in football.

He directed the ball to Meunier, who cross to Lukaku. Then Lukaku lay the ball to Chaldi, who scored close to win the game 3-2.

10. Andreas Iniesta

  • Date: 6th May 2009
  • Match: Chelsea vs. Barcelona
  • Competitions: UEFA Champions League semi-final

Chelsea held Barcelona to a 0-0 draw during Camp Nou. Later, they returned for the home leg with high expectations. 

But Iniesta broke the heart of Chelsea fans and players, sending the legendary Barca team of the Tiki-Taka era to finals. 

Michael Essien sent Chelsea to an early 1-0 lead and controlled the game. In addition, Barca fell to 10 men after Eric Abidal got a red card. 

Later, Barcelona turned the game with just 10 men and only a few seconds left in the additional time. 

Andreas Iniesta shot from the edge of the D-area, and the ball found a top right corner. The crucial away goal sent Chelsea out of the UCL campaign.

Besides Iniesta’s goal, the match also headlined controversy when the referee ignored multiple penalty appeals from both teams.

9. Lionel Messi

  • Date: 24th April 2017
  • Match: Real Madrid vs. Barcelona
  • Competitions: LALiga Match Day 31

Real Madrid was on top of LaLiga, and Barcelona tried to close the gap between the two sides. 

Like other El-Clasico matchups, it was an intense game where tackles were flying all over the ground. 

Madrid took the led in the 28th minute, but Lionel Messi scored an equalizer in the 33rd minute.

Later, Rakitic fired Barca to led before Rodriguez came off from the bench to level score again.

A Madrid player continuously fouled Messi, and he was looking short of breath due to it. Madrid pressed to find the winner, but Barca hit them on the pinpoint counterattack.

Later, Alba found Messi making a run inside the box, scoring the winner from 15 yards in 91:45 minutes. 

Moreover, it was Messi’s 500th goal for Barcelona. Likewise, he also did an iconic shirt celebration silencing the Bernabeu crowds.

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8. Michael Thomas

  • Date: 26th May 2019
  • Match: Liverpool vs. Arsenal
  • Competitions: Football League First Division Match Day 38

The 1988-89 First Divison title race is one of the closest ones in English top-flight history. 

Although two clubs were supposed to meet a month ago, the Liverpool stadium disaster postponed a match. 

Arsenal needed a victory by 2 or 3 goals to win the title. Moreover, 2 goal victory would tied points for both teams.

However, Arsenal would have clinched the title, having scored more goals. Liverpool had not lost by 2 or more goals at home in nearly 3 years.

Michael Thomas scores a goal
Michael Thomas scores a goal vs. Liverpool.

As the game entered extra time, Arsenal led 1-0. However, Liverpool also thought they had done enough to secure a domestic double. 

But Michael Thomas dribbles past Liverpool’s defense to take the lead 2-0 in the 91st minute. Later, the Thomas goal handed Arsenal league title after 18 years of wait.

7. Sergio Roberto

  • Date: 8th March 2017
  • Match: Barcelona vs. Paris St-Germain
  • Competitions: Champions League Round of 16

After knocking out PSG, Barcelona became the first team in UCL history to overturn the first leg 4-0 deficit. 

Barcelona was trailing 4-0, but in Camp Nou Luiz, Suarez and Kurzawa’s own goal within 3 minutes pressurized PSG.

After halftime, Messi scored from a penalty, but Cavani gave PSG an important away goal. 

In the 88th minute, Barcelona was 5-3 down in aggregate and scored three goals in the last seven minutes.

Man of the match, firstly Neymar scored a top corner freekick and converted a penalty. Later, in the 95th minute, he chipped Sergio Roberto, who scored a stunning winner.

As a result, Barcelona progressed to the quarterfinals after winning ties 6-5 in aggerate. 

6. Lucas Moura

  • Date: 9th May 2019
  • Match: Ajax vs. Tottenham
  • Competitions: Champions League semi-final second league

Next on our list of top 12 last-minute goals in football history goes to Lucas Moura. But any Spurs fan would rank him in the top without any doubt. 

Tottenham came to Amsterdam trailing 1-0, and Harry Kane was missing due to a knee injury.

In addition, they made the game’s worst possible start after Ajax 19 years old captain Matthijs de Ligt double the lead. 

Later, after Son hit the woodwork, Ziyech scored a screamer to extend a 3-0 comfortable lead. 

Spurs went to halftime with 3 goals behind, but Pochettiono’s side scored 2 goals in the first five minutes of the second half with a brace from Lucas Moura.

As the game was heading towards dying seconds, Tottenham fans thought their dream journey ended. 

Moreover, fans could not have believed making a journey this far after collecting just one point in the first three-game of group stages.

In the dramatic finish, Moura instantly became Spurs legend when his left-footed shot found the back of the net with a pass from Dele Alli in the 96th minute. 

The game’s last shot fired Tottenham to their first-ever Champions league finals and face Liverpool in All England finals.

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5. Steven Gerrard

  • Date: 13th May 2006
  • Match: Liverpool vs. West Ham United
  • Competitions: FA Cup Final 

The 2006 FA Cup final was 125 years of oldest football tournament in football history. In addition, the match is also regarded as The Gerrard Final.

Gerrard 37 yards game tieing goal vs Westham
Steven Gerrard 37 yards game tieing goal vs Westham.

Liverpool found themselves 2-0 down within 30 minutes of the game. But they fought back and tied the score to 2-2. 

However, Paul Konshcesky scored again to make West Ham lead 3-2. Liverpool’s second goal scorer, Steven Gerrard, suffered a cramp in the ending minute.

As the commenter announced 4 additional minutes, Gerrard scored a screamer from 37 years to level the game 3-3 in the 91st minute.

The goal from Gerrard destroyed Westham psychologically. Later, Liverpool eventually won the game in penalties to win their seventh FA Cup title. 

4. Sergio Ramos

  • Date: 24th May 2006
  • Match: Real Madrid vs. Athletico Madrid
  • Competitions: UEFA Champions League Final

The extra time scoreline does not justice the drama and moments at Estadio da Luz when Atletico Madrid was just minutes away from winning their first UCL title.

Newly crowned LaLiga Champions, Atletico took the lead in the first half when Deigo Godin capitalized on Casillas’s error.

In the ending minute of extra time, Real Madrid thought La Decima was slipping from their hands. 

Then Luka Modric took responsibility for the corner. When Ronaldo missed a corner, everyone thought their hero missed a last chance of the game.

However, Sergio Ramos jumped from beyond to score a header to level the game in the 93rd minute. 

Thanks to Ramos header Real Madrid was able to take the game into extra time. Later, Real demolished Athletico by scoring 3 goals. 

Firstly, Bale scored, then Marcelo added a second. Later, Ronaldo scored a penalty in 120 minutes to win the game 4-1. 

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3. David Beckham

  • Date: 6th October 2001
  • Match: England vs. Greece
  • Competitions: World Cup Qualification Match

In 2002 World Cup Finals, England only needed a draw to secure a place. However, they had a problematic qualification stage which saw three new managers take charge.

But new boss Eriksson helped the team to 5 consecutive victories and hope of topping the group.

Despite Sheringham’s 68th minute goal, England was losing 2-1 to Greece in injury time. As a result, they were destined for a tough playoff matchup against Ukraine.

Beckham celebrates after scoring a freekick against Greece
David Beckham celebrates after scoring a freekick against Greece.

However, David Beckham had a different idea in mind; despite failing to score the previous five freekicks. 

When his nation needed the most, Beckham delivered to send England to Japan and Korea. 

Three Lions captain scored an unstoppable 93rd-minute freekick at Old Trafford in a nail-biting qualifying match to draw the game 2-2. 

After sending his nation to World Cups, Beckham also regained his reputation as a national hero.  

Likewise, his goal was enough to rank him third on our list of 12 best last-minute goals in football history. 

2. Sergio Aguero 

  • Date: 13th May 2012
  • Match: Manchester City vs. Queens Park Rangers
  • Competitions: Premier League Match Day 38

The 2011/12 Premier League title race is one of the dramatic league finish in football history.

Both Manchester City and Manchester United were tied on the same points with one last game to go. 

But then real drama began. After the referee signaled 5 additional minutes, Dzeko scored the header to tie the game 2-2.

Likewise, as time passed by in the Stadium of Light, Manchester United won the game and finished with 89 points. 

So, United thought they had won their 6th title in 7 years after seeing City drawing 2-2 against relegation-threatened QPR.

Later, the Augerooooo happened. In 93:20 minutes, Aguero scored the winner. The goal gave Manchester City their first top-flight league title after 4 decades.

Moreover, it ended United dominance and became the turning point of power shift from one Manchester club to another. 

1. Teddy Sherringham and Ole Gunner Solsjaer

  • Date: 26th May 1999
  • Match: Manchester United vs. Bayern Munich
  • Competitions: UEFA Champions League Finals

On the top of our list of 12 best last-minute goals in football history is taken by Teddy Sherringham and Ole Gunner Solsjaer. 

Bayern Munich took the lead in the sixth minute after Mario Basler’s freekick found the back of the net.

Manchester United has trailed the whole game since then. Moreover, Bayern’s name was sculptured, and ribbons were attached to the trophy.

Ole Gunner Solskjaer lifts UCL trophy
Ole Gunner Solskjaer lifts 1999 UCL trophy.

However, after the assistant referee showed four additional minutes, Teddy Sheringham scored a volley from the Beckham corner within 36 seconds.

United though they have taken the game to extra time. But they intercepted the ball early, forcing another corner. Like always, Beckham again took the corner.

This time, Sheringham headed the ball towards Ole Gunner Solskjaer, who scored a goal to take United to lead 2-1 in the 92nd minute.

Later, the goal proved devastating for Bayern players as they could not stand up and restart the match. 

Moreover, the Champions League triumph meant Manchester United was becoming the first English team to win the international treble.  

Sanjib Sah
Sanjib Sah
Sanjib Sah is an engineer and content writer passionate about sports and athletics. With a background in engineering and a love for all things active, Sanjib brings a unique perspective to the world of sports writing. Whether he is covering the latest trends in sports technology or sharing tips on improving your game, Sanjib's words are always rooted in a deep appreciation for players' hard work and dedication everywhere. In his free time, you can find him hitting the courts or hitting the trails, always looking for new ways to challenge himself and improve his skills.

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