Fonte praises Saints' character at Stoke

Southampton defender Jose Fonte has hailed his team's character after they put a freak goal behind them to earn a point on Saturday.

Stoke City took the lead in extraordinary circumstances as goalkeeper Asmir Begovic's long kick down field bounced over the head of opposite number Artur Boruc and into the net with just 13 seconds on the clock.

The blustery conditions aided the flight of the ball, hampering Boruc's judgement, as Begovic became the fifth keeper to score a Premier League goal.

However, the visitors hit back through Jay Rodriguez to leave them just a point shy of second place and Fonte was delighted with their spirited response to the unusual setback.

"It was very strange," he told The Daily Echo. "We were in the huddle just before the kick-off saying 'Come on ... we can keep a clean sheet today' and 30 seconds later we were losing 1-0!

"The ball had so much pace on it and skidded on the floor, it was a very weird one and there was nothing we could do about it.

"It's one of those things that doesn't happen very often, it's never happened in a game I've played in before, and was obviously a bit of a shock. But I think we showed tremendous character.

"We dug deep against the wind, we played our passing football, got a very good goal and showed what our team is about."

Mauricio Pochettino's men have lost just once in the league this season and face Sunderland in the League Cup on Wednesday.


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