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Where are they now? West Ham’s 2006 FA Cup finalists

Dean Ashton 2006 FA Cup final

The Hammers came so close to victory in a great final, leading 2-0 and 3-2, only to succumb to Steven Gerrard’s late equaliser and then shoot-out heartbreak. What have they done since?

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GK: Shaka Hislop

Shaka Hislop

The laidback shot-stopper had returned to West Ham on a 12-month deal the previous July following a three-year spell at Portsmouth. Roy Carroll, a fellow summer signing, was the preferred choice in goal for the first half of the season – but a back injury for the Northern Irishman early in 2006 thrust Shaka back into the frame and he was between the sticks for the final.

By now something of a veteran at the age of 37, Shaka - first name Neil - could do nothing about any of Liverpool’s goals in normal time, and saved Sami Hyypia’s spot-kick in the penalty shoot-out.

The game proved to be his last in a West Ham shirt and the former Reading and Newcastle man was released at the end of his contract. He played for Trinidad & Tobago in their first-ever World Cup that summer and joined MLS side FC Dallas in July. Retired in August 2007 and now works for ESPN as a pundit.

RB: Lionel Scaloni

Lionel Scaloni

The departure of Tomas Repka to Sparta Prague in January had left a right-back-sized hole in the West Ham squad until Lionel Scaloni arrived on loan from Deportivo La Coruna in February. Got the nod to start in Cardiff, mainly because there was no other option. It would prove a day of highs and lows for the Argentine.

His cross was turned home by Jamie Carragher to put the Hammers in front, but Scaloni then lost Djibril Cisse for the Liverpool man to pull it back to 2-1 on the half-hour mark. The Argentine will forever be remembered by Irons fans for his part in Steven Gerrard’s equaliser in the dying embers of normal time. With Cisse stricken and West Ham leading 3-2, Scaloni put the ball out deep in his own half for the Liverpool forward to be treated, rather than thumping it forward.

When Liverpool threw it back to him, Scaloni just had to put it somewhere safe and the game was won. Instead, he hoofed it into the middle of the park and straight to a red shirt. The ball was worked to Gerrard and he scored from 35 yards to take the tie to extra-time. Scaloni played once for Argentina at that summer’s World Cup. Released by Deportivo upon his return, he joined Racing Santander and is now an assistant coach with the Argentina national team.

CB: Anton Ferdinand

Anton Ferdinand

A regular for West Ham in the Championship for two seasons prior, the academy graduate made the step up to Premiership football with ease. Ferdinand formed a fine centre-back partnership with Danny Gabbidon and scored two memorable goals in 2005/06 against Fulham and Spurs. He made an excellent covering tackle on Fernando Morientes late in extra-time against Liverpool, but missed the decisive spot-kick in the shoot-out.

In March 2007, Ferdinand was fined two weeks’ wages for telling West Ham that he needed to go to the Isle of Wight to visit his grandmother, when he actually went to South Carolina to celebrate his 22nd birthday.

Always in brother Rio’s shadow, Anton left West Ham in 2008 for Roy Keane’s Sunderland in an £8m switch. He later played for QPR, where he was embroiled in the John Terry racism scandal, before stints in Turkey with Bursaspor and Antalyaspor, and then back in England at Reading. Now on the books of Southend.

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