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When a draw feels like a win

dave clarkeThere are great goals in matches that you think about for a long time afterwards. When one of my U10 teams was losing 1-0 in a game they were bossing. They couldn’t believe they were a goal behind and try as they might they just couldn’t get the finishing touch.

“Lost this one I reckon,” said one of the fathers grinning next to me.

But then with the minutes ticking down we attacked down the left. The ball was played back to our centre forward who, finding the route ahead blocked, played it back to one of our midfielders. With a powerful swing of his leg our midfielder dispatched the ball on a perfect arc into the roof of the net. 1-1. But it felt like a win and gave everyone a great feeling for the rest of the game.

It was a feat mirrored by Deportivo de La coruna fighting to preserve a 20-year stint in the top flight – they were 1-0 down to fellow relegation contenders Almeria in February. Defeat would have left them a solitary point off the relegation zone, with four teams below them all within two points. And next weekend, they’re playing Real Madrid.

The referee had given four minutes of additional time. With four minutes up Deportivo won a corner. Pablo Álvarez took it into the heart of the penalty area and from the melee inside one head made contact and the ball hit the back of the net. 1-1.

It was the head of Dani Aranzubia, the goalkeeper…

“No one told me to go up for the corner, I just thought it was a good idea,” he said, becoming the first goalkeeper to score in Spain for nine years.

And that felt like a win for Deportivo.

Watch it below

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