With one flick of a back heel, England striker Danny Welbeck has delivered what is without a doubt the goal of the tournament against Sweden, and it couldn't have come at a more crucial juncture.
In the 78th minute, with the score level at 2-2, winger Theo Walcott fired a low cross into the box, weaving through a field of yellow shirts. Welbeck, the 21-year-old Manchester United prodigy, overran the pass and found himself out in front of the ball.
Left with no other choice, he did what any other person with sublime footballing skills and a sixth sense would do. With his momentum turning him around to face the goal, he back-heeled a shot past his defender and into the goal without looking.
At first glance, it looked as though the young striker had simply inadvertently re-directed the cross towards the goal, but on the replay, it became quite clear that the move was an intentional stroke of pure brilliance.
Rather than adding additional force to the ball, Welbeck opted to simply redirect the already speeding cross, angling it perfectly into the far corner beyond the reach of the stunned Swedish keeper.
Welbeck was in the lineup primarily due to the absence of Manchester United teammate Wayne Rooney, serving the second game of a two-game suspension for a red card received in a qualifying match against Montenegro.
The 21-year-old had found success in limited duty prior to the tournament, and thrived in friendly matches, but had yet to make a real impact in the tournament prior to that strike.
His first goal of the tournament couldn't have come at a better time. Thanks to the strike, the English sit tied atop Group D, controlling their own destiny with regards to advancing to the quarterfinals.
Regardless of how England fare in their final group stage game, there is no denying that Welbeck's goal is currently the goal of the tournament.
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