No 97 : Michael’s Wondergoal

Michael Owen’s Wondergoal

Number 97 in the Days we’ll Remember all our Lives countdown brings us to a night a young Liverpool player who graduated from our Academy captured the attention of the entire world with just one strike in the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard stadium in Saint Etienne…

On Tuesday 30th June 1998, the build up to the match was intense, England were about to face arch-rivals Argentina with every Liverpool fan across the World eagerly awaiting to see if our young 18 year old would make the England starting 11 and we weren’t dissappointed. It was a night Michael Owen etched his name on to the minds of football fans around the world.

With the score locked at 1-1, Owen recieved a pass from David Beckham just below hip height, Michael took it with the outside of his foot which carried him on a feverish sprint, leaving defender Jose Chamot in his wake. With the Argentinian defence and Ayala retreating, Owen made his way to the edge of the box and pushed the ball across Ayala. With the goalkeeper Carlos Roa racing off his line, Michael unleashed a right footed shot towards the left corner of the net, beyond the reach of Roa.

England went on to lose on penalties but it was Liverpool’s young Michael Owen who grabbed all the headlines, most Kopites will always look back and remember that smile on Michael Owen after he had scored. Tim Sansom recently wrote on TIA ‘œWhen Owen scored that wonder goal against Argentina. I felt that this was someone of my age, playing for my country, lightening up the tournament for England. It was not just the pace that was startling. It was the swagger in the movement around the hapless defenders that did it for me. It was the sort of football that made you proud to support England, and it was difficult to believe that Owen was still only 18. I hoped that there would be more to come’

His memorable goal against Argentina in the 1998 World Cup in France was voted as the Goal of the Tournament – giving the striker instant world-wide fame. Michael had been with the club since a schoolboy and scored prolifically as he rose rapidly through the Anfield ranks. On that day, Liverpool had a global young star who had come through our own Academy, a ‘œwonderboy’ who every major club in Europe wanted….