Unlikely heroes

The Magnificent Seven: goalscoring keepers

Tim Howard may have notched on Wednesday night, but we’ve got a bunch of No1s who fancy themselves in front of goal.

PRESUMABLY BECAUSE IT’S not in their job description, we generally take great pleasure when a goalkeeper manages to find the back of an opponent’s net.

It really doesn’t make much odds whether it’s from a long, wind-assisted kick downfield, a belter of a free-kick or a stoppage-time header.

And to celebrate Tim Howard joining the exclusive group on Wednesday night, we would like to bring you seven of the finest goals from the men between the sticks.

7. Sinan Bolat (Standard Liege)

Belgian club Standard Liege were a goal down to AZ Alkmaar and about to be sent crashing out of Europe when their Turkish stopper Sinan Bolat wondered up to join in on the attack from a free-kick.  Bolat made an almighty leap to get on the end of a curling delivery and diverted it into the top corner – sending his side into the Europa League at the expense of their Dutch opponents.

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6. Pat Jennings (Tottenham Hotspur)

Long before it became fashionable for keepers to find the back of the net, Northern Ireland’s legendary Pat Jennings was doing it. During the 1967 Charity Shield, the Spurs player launched the ball out of his hands and beyond Manchester United’s Alex Stepney. The game ended 3-3.

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5. Rene Higuita (Nacional)

The man who cannot be mentioned without bringing back thoughts of him saving Jamie Redknapp’s effort with a ‘scorpian kick’ in 1995, chipped in with more than his far share of goals too. Playing for Columbian side Athletico Nacional, the then 28-year-old stepped up and fired a free-kick beyond the wall and in off the the crossbar in the Copa Libertadores semi-final with River Plate.

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4. Rogerio Ceni (Sao Paolo)

Ceni did something that many strikers fail to when he notched his 100th goal for Brazilian club Sao Paolo in March of last year. The 38-year-old, who has played 21 years with the club, has a strike-rate of a goal every nine games – which is about the same as Fernando Torres’s at Chelsea.

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3. Jimmy Glass (Carlisle United)

On-loan keeper Jimmy Glass became an unlikely hero back in 1999. Carlisle were in desperate need of a win to ensure their Football League status but were being held by Plymouth Argyle deep into injury time. Up popped Glass to bundle home from a corner. As he says himself, he literally had a nose bleed.

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2. Jose Luis Chilavert (Velez Sarsfield)

Like Higuita and Ceni, Paraguayan No1 Jose Luis Chilavert had a keen eye for goal. He scored a hat-trick for Velez Sarsfield in a 6-1 win over Ferro Carril Oeste in 1999 and sent one by a Boca Juniors team led by one Diego Aramando Maradona two years previous to that.

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1. Peter Schmeichel (Manchester United)

The Big Dane opened his account for Manchester United in a 2-2 UEFA Cup first round draw with Rotor Volgograd. Coming up into the opposing box for the fourth time in the game, Schmeichel latched onto a Ryan Giggs corner to score and preserve a 39-year unbeaten home record in Europe. They still went out of the competition however.

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