Pablo celebrates 'incredible' winner
INCREDIBLE! That's how Pablo Counago, the darling of Portman Road, described the moment when he clinched the latest of late winners to finally beat Coventry City 3-2 in Saturday's memorable showdown.
That's how Pablo Counago, the darling of Portman Road, described the moment when he clinched the latest of late winners to finally beat Coventry City 3-2 in Saturday's memorable showdown.
Town supporters - those that stayed to the bitter end at least - went through a whole array of emotions during what appeared to be a never-ending period of injury-time.
Heading for a 2-1 home win, going into the allotted four minutes of injury-time, Coventry stunned the Portman Road faithful when defender Richard Wood netted an equaliser in the fifth minute of added-on time.
Town players were furious; the Sky Blues were jubilant. Perhaps referee Michael Oliver's watch had stopped?
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There was a 90-second delay before the game resumed, and remarkably there was still time for one last twist.
It took just 12 seconds for Jaime Peters to launch the ball forwards, and for Connor Wickham to find his fellow substitute Counago, who scooped his shot over keeper Kieren Westwood for the most cherished of winners.
Counago said: “When Coventry scored, we were obviously disappointed. But in football, incredible things can happen sometimes!”
It was a particularly sweet moment for Counago, not least because the Spaniard has struggled to hold down a place even in the 18-man squad this season.
It was only his second goal of the campaign, and he had also been haunted by missing a gilt-edged chance to win the game at the death at Bristol City a month earlier.
Counago admitted: “It has been frustrating to be out of the team. Like all players, you want to play football, but my family, friends and team-mates have helped me to push on.
“The goal is a big 'thank-you' to them. But it was not important who scored, it was most important for the team to win.”
Manager Roy Keane said: “It was a great finish from Pablo. That goal was worthy of winning a lot of games.
“I have never had a problem with Pablo's confidence. He's always been a confident lad, that's part of his Spanish mentality.
“I'm just glad that it went in under the bar! He's given himself a chance of being involved next weekend.” Counago's 97th-minute winner is officially the latest goal to be netted throughout the top four divisions this season.
It was even later than Michael Owen's 96t-minute winner in Manchester United's 4-3 victory over Manchester City from last September.