Top 10: Best last-gasp goals in a World Cup

Donovan's late goal was just one of many in tournament lore

Landon Donovan’s stoppage-time goal against Algeria on Wednesday was easily the most dramatic—and perhaps most important—goal in US history. But it’s certainly not the first time teams have found late magic at the World Cup. MLSsoccer.com counts down the Top 10 stoppage and extra time goals of the past 20 years.


1. 1990 Final—Brehme’s penalty kick leads West Germany past Argentina

It certainly wasn’t a pretty way to win the World Cup, but Andreas Brehme’s 85th minute penalty kick gave Franz Beckenbauer his second title after winning one as a player in 1974. It was also effectively the last World Cup gasp as a player for Diego Maradona, who played two group games at the 1994 World Cup before he was sent home for testing positive for ephedrine.


2. 2002 Round of 16—South Korea stun Italy

In what was perhaps the definitive moment of the tournament, the Taeguk Warriors got an 88th minute goal from Seol Ki Hyeon and to level the match and another in the 117th minute from Ang Jung-Hwan to stun the Italians and send the home crowd into a frenzy. The South Koreans went on to beat Spain in the quarterfinals, but this is the definitive match of their nation’s football career.


3. 2006 Semifinal—Grosso lifts Italy into final

Fabio Grosso’s gorgeous left-footed finish in the 119th minute stunned the host Germans, who gave up another to Alessando del Piero in the closing seconds in a 2-0 loss. Italy, of course, went on to win the World Cup over France, but beating the Germans in Dortmund was perhaps an even more impressive feat.


4. 1998 Quarterfinals—Bergkamp leads Holland past Argentina

The Dutch enjoyed a moment of quintessential brilliance at the expense of Argentina, thanks to a gorgeous 90th minute winner from Dennis Bergkamp. Frank de Boer lifted a 60-yard pass to Bergkamp, who coolly slotted a shot into the back of the net to send Holland into the semifinals for the first time in 20 years.


5.1998 Round of 16—France outlast Paraguay

Long before they stormed past Brazil in the World Cup final, the French needed some late heroics to get past a seemingly more innocuous South American side. Laurent Blanc scored in the 113th minute to give the hosts the win over Paraguay, much to the delight of French fans who watched a magical run unfold from there.


6. 2006 Round of 16—Maxi Rodriguez buries Mexico

There was no better goal in Germany than the left-footed volley from Rodriguez, who crushed Mexico’s World Cup hopes in an instant in the 98th minute. Rodriquez brought down a cross on his chest, and then promptly hammered a curling shot from 30 yards out that left Mexico - and the world – speechless.


7. 1994 Round of 16—Baggio strikes twice for Italy

Before Roberto Baggio missed the decisive penalty kick in the 1994 final at the Rose Bowl, he put on a show at Foxboro Stadium against Nigeria. He drew the teams level at 1-1 in the 88th minute, and added the game winner on a penalty kick in the 100th minute to lead the Italians on. He struck again in the quarterfinals, with an 87th minute game-winner against Spain.


8. 2006 Round of 16—Italians top Aussies on penalty

The most controversial call of the 2006 tournament belonged to the hard-luck Australians, who gave up a penalty kick on a 95th minute foul drawn by Fabio Grosso and lost, 1-0. Francesco Totti buried the ensuing kick en route to winning the World Cup.


9. 2002 Quarterfinal—Turkey end Senegal’s run

In a tournament littered with underdogs, Turkey’s Ilhan Mansiz ended Senegal’s run with a goal four minutes into extra time. It was a bitter end for Senegal, who used a 117th minute goal themselves to get past heavily-favored Sweden in the Round of 16.


10. 2010 Group Play—Donovan makes US history

No, Donovan’s goal in the 91st minute didn’t come in the knockout stage. But it did give the Americans their first group title, and officially gave Donovan the title as best player in US history.

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