Five most dramatic tunarounds in football history


JF-Expert Member
Nov 1, 2010
ENGLAND 2-3 WEST GERMAN (World Cup quarter-final, 1970)

England, the reigning world champions, had gone into the World Cup in Mexico confident of success, and they had been 2-0 up after 49 minutes of their quarter-final against West Germany, the defeated finalists of 1966. However, England faded in the heat as the match wore on and Franz Beckenbauer pulled a goal back on 68 minutes. The great Bobby Charlton, then 32, was substituted two minutes later as he failed to keep pace. Uwe Seeler made it 2-2 on 76 minutes to force the game into extra time and
the comeback was complete in the 108th minute courtesy of the legendary goal-scorer Gerd Muller.

MANCHESTER UNITED 2-1 BAYERN MUNICH (Champions League final, 1999)
United, making their first appearance at the European Cup final since their 1968 success, had to take on three-time winners Bayern in Barcelona without both Roy Keane and Paul Scholes. After only six minutes, they fell behind to a Mario Basler free-kick. Bayern had looked good value for the lead, with 38-year-old sweeper Lothar Matthaus in commanding form, but he was substituted in the 80th minute having been on the wrong end of a David Beckham tackle a few minutes earlier. United turned it around in injury time, substitutes Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer scoring in the 91st and 93rd minutes to secure a 2-1 win. Matthaus said it was "not the best team that won but the luckiest."

YUGOSLAVIA 3-4 SPAIN (Euro 2000 group stage)
Having lost to Norway in their opener before sneaking past Slovenia 2-1, Spain were in very real danger of an early exit from Euro 2000 when they took on Yugoslavia in their final group game. Their worst fears looked to have become a reality as they trailed 3-2 going into the final moments of the game and, though Gaizka Mendieta levelled from the penalty spot in the 90th minute, a point was insufficient. With Yugoslavia down to ten men, though, they were unable to prevent Alfonso Perez scoring his second of the game to send Spain through at Norway's expense.

LIVERPOOL 3-3 (3-2 pen) AC MILAN (Champions League final, 2005)
Two of European football's most decorated clubs, Milan had nonetheless been firm favourites ahead of the final in Istanbul. They had a vintage side with great players throughout the squad; Liverpool started the game with Djimi Traore at left-back. Milan boss Carlo Ancelotti had stressed his side's experience would "count for a lot" in the build-up, and it took only 53 seconds for the most experienced of them all, Paolo Maldini, to open the scoring. A Hernan Crespo double shortly before the break left Liverpool trailing 3-0. Rafa Benitez brought on Dietmar Hamann for Steve Finnan to neutralise Kaka and, in the space of six second-half minutes, Steven Gerrard, Vladimir Smicer and Xabi Alonso had levelled the scores. Jerzy Dudek was twice required to make saves from Andrei Shevchenko, but Liverpool withstood the pressure and came out with a 3-2 victory on penalties. The match became known as the 'Miracle of Istanbul'.

ANGOLA 4-4 MALI (African Nations Cup, 2010)
Hosts Angola had been 4-0 ahead with 11 minutes remaining of the opening game of last year's African Nations Cup, but Seydou Keita scored what appeared a consolation goal before Frederic Kanoute headed home for 4-2 in the 87th minute. Keita made it 4-3 in the third minute of injury time and Mustapha Yatabare found the equaliser two minutes later. Angola coach Manuel Jose said: "This draw tasted like a defeat to me. This is one of the most bitter pills I've ever had to swallow in all the matches of my long career."


JF-Expert Member
Nov 1, 2010

United turned it around in injury time, substitutes Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer scoring in the 91st and 93rd minutes to secure a 2-1 win.

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