Watford Caps Shocking Comeback vs. Leicester with PK Save, 97' Deeney Goal

Adam HirshfieldFeatured ColumnistMay 12, 2013

I may be a fan of hyperbole—probably the biggest fan of all time—but the finish of the Watford-Leicester City npower Championship playoff second leg is unquestionably one of the greatest I've ever seen.

In second-half injury time, with Watford leading 2-1 on the day but tied 2-2 on aggregate, Gianfranco Zola's boys were set to be eliminated on away goals. Leicester would go through to the Championship playoff final at Wembley Stadium to play for the chance to move up to the Premier League next season.

Watford's situation was made far worse with a questionable penalty call in the 97th minute on the Hornets' Marco Cassetti. Leicester City was already set to advance, but this would cement it. 

But Spanish goalkeeper Manuel Almunia made a sprawling kick save on Anthony Knockaert's penalty, then followed it up with another reflex save on the rebound.

The ball was cleared out toward midfield, but Watford still needed a goal.

A speedy run up the right flank got the ball to Fernando Forestieri in the right corner. Forestieri placed an in-swinging cross into the goal mouth that found the head of Jonathan Hogg. Facing solid pressure, Hogg's header popped back into the middle and directly into the path of an onrushing Troy Deeney. 

Deeney blasted past Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, and the Watford fans—not to mention the brilliant announcing team—went absolutely berserk.

The entire Watford team sprinted into the stands to celebrate with their fans, and Zola slipped and fell onto the turf. 

The entire sequence took 22 seconds, and it completely turned around the entire tie. Watford had snatched victory from the jaws of defeat and were through to fight another day for the right to play in the Premier League.


Bleacher Report's Premier League coverage has been nominated in the 2012-13 EPLTalk awards. Cast your vote here.