Top 10 insane injury-times: brilliant Bergkamp, heart attacks and own goals ahoy
Barbados vs Grenada (1994)
In this qualifier for the 1994 Caribbean Cup, Barbados needed to win by a two-goal margin in order to qualify for the finals.
However, a new rule tested by the cup’s organisers somewhat complicated things. It stated that a period of 'Golden Goal' extra time should be used to decide any match that was tied after 90 minutes. That might not sound too crazy, until you consider the fact these were 'round robin' matches, rather than a straight knock-out. Also, any Golden Goal would count double – important, given goal difference could help determine the final standings of the group.
Barbados had their required 2-0 scoreline until a few minutes from the end, when Grenada pulled one back in the 87th minute. The hosts had to regain their winning margin, but rather than push for a dramatic decider in the dying seconds, their quick-thinking players realised that it would actually be better to score an own goal and force extra-time, which would give them longer to secure victory by a two-goal margin (which they'd achieve by scoring once – still with us...?)
One of the Barbados players wellied the ball into his own net, but then things only got weirder. Grenada quickly realised that a goal at either end in the remaining minutes would win them the group, and thus Barbados were forced to spend the three minutes of injury time defending both goals. Somehow they succeeded, and the game went into extra-time, where Barbados scored the Golden Goal which ensured them a 4-2 win and qualification for the Caribbean Cup.
Leicester vs Arsenal (1997/98)
With Arsenal boasting a 2-0 lead at Filbert Street thanks to Dennis Bergkamp’s brilliant brace in August 1997, the Gunners looked to be cruising towards another three points with less than 10 minutes remaining.
But it merely set up one of the most astonishing finishes to a Premier League game ever.
A late Emile Heskey goal looked a mere consolation for Leicester with six minutes of normal time remaining, only for Matt Elliott’s deflected 93rd-minute effort to level things up. But in the 94th, Bergkamp completed his hat-trick with one of the greatest goals in Premier League history, bringing down David Platt’s looping ball beautifully before bamboozling Elliott and slotting past Kasey Keller.
With Arsenal players pleading for the final whistle, Leicester won a corner in the 96th minute. And, following some head tennis in the Arsenal area, Foxes skipper Steve Walsh pounced to power a header past David Seaman and secure an unlikely draw.
Thailand vs Indonesia (1998)
Spectators of this 1998 AFF Championship group match between Thailand and Indonesia witnessed one of the strangest injury-time goals in the history of international football.
Both teams had already qualified for the semi-finals, but the group winner was yet to be determined. At first, the players appeared to take the game seriously, with Indonesia taking the lead twice and Thailand drawing level accordingly. But things took a strange turn when the clock ticked to 90 minutes.
Suddenly, in injury-time, Indonesia twigged that the group winner would have to face tournament hosts Vietnam in the semi-finals, while the runners-up would meet the far weaker Singapore.
Indonesian defender Mursyid Effendi put one into his own net, despite the Thai players’ best efforts to prevent it, successfully losing the match for his team. However, Effendi's actions were not without dire consequences: he was given a lifetime international ban for unsporting behaviour.
Pleasingly, his dastardly plot was foiled days later, when Indonesia slumped to a shock 2-1 defeat to Singapore in the semi-finals, with the underdogs eventually winning the tournament.
Hamburg vs Bayern Munich/Schalke vs Unterhaching (2000/01)
The 2000/01 Bundesliga season saw Bayern going into the last matchday with a three-point advantage over chasing Schalke, and thus only needing a point at Hamburg. Schalke’s better goal difference meant a defeat for FC Hollywood would have enabled the Gelsenkirchen outfit to win the Bundesliga for the first time since 1958 if they beat lowly Unterhaching.
So it was no wonder that Schalke's Parkstadion erupted when news spread that Sergej Barbarez had given Hamburg the lead in the 90th minute. With Schalke winning their own game 5-3 against Unterhaching, this meant the title for die Knappen, whose fans ran onto the pitch, flung their arms around one another and shed tears of joy as fireworks exploded around them.
But this was a pre-smartphone era, however, and most fans didn’t realise that the match in Hamburg wasn’t over. In the fourth minute of injury time, Bayern's Patrik Andersson duly fired an indirect free-kick into the net, snatching the trophy from Schalke at the death.
Liverpool vs Arsenal (1988/89)/Man City vs QPR (2011/12)
In the final game of the 1988/89 season, first-placed Liverpool hosted second-placed Arsenal with both teams still able to become champions. For the Gunners to do it, they needed to win by two clear goals. But despite having taken a 1-0 lead, it seemed unlikely that George Graham’s side would grab that much-needed second goal, especially with only a single minute added on.
That was until John Barnes lost the ball in the attacking third, allowing Arsenal to punt the ball forward for one last attack. Cue Michael Thomas bursting clean on goal to slot past a hapless Bruce Grobbelaar, taking the title to Highbury.
History has a funny way of repeating itself – and the moment Sergio Aguero won the title for Manchester City in 2012 came in similarly jaw-dropping circumstances.
Roberto Mancini’s men knew Manchester United had beaten Sunderland 1-0, and thus needed to win themselves to claim the title. But City were behind 2-1 to relegation-threatened QPR going into five minutes of injury-time.
Edin Dzeko equalised after one of those, before Aguero latched onto Mario Balotelli’s poked pass in the 94th minute to send Sky commentator Martin Tyler loopy.