Greatest One-Match Wonders In Football | JFC Sports

football stadium

In most sports, players will develop over a long period of time and build up a CV of notable moments, whether they are successful stops, highlight saves or monumental thundercrack goals, wearing their football team kits for a long time in the process.

We are aware of the exceptionally lengthy careers of players like Fransisco Totti, Ryan Giggs and Peter Shilton, filled with memorable moments. What about the opposite? What are the greatest players with only one notable match or moment in their careers?


The Greece 2004 Team

In the 1990s and early 2000s, FIFA and UEFA experimented with changes to the laws of the game to encourage more aggressive play. The golden goal sudden death rule at extra time ultimately led to teams defensively playing for penalties, and the short-lived silver goal rule was even worse.

After failing to qualify for the European Championship for 20 full years, Greece made it to the tournament and only scored two goals in one match, winning all of their knockout games 1-0.

Most egregiously and specifically, they beat the Czech Republic at the end of the first period of extra time, denying the Czechs a chance at an equaliser that they would have had if Greece had scored a minute later in the second half of extra time. They would go on to win their only ever trophy.


Jimmy Glass

In 1999, Carlisle desperately needed to beat Plymouth Argyle in order to stay in the football league in the closing minutes of the 1998/99 season. They needed a miracle, and it came from perhaps the most unlikely source ever.

Jimmy Glass was a journeyman goalkeeper who had been loaned out from Swindon Town as part of an emergency transfer since Carlisle United had no goalkeepers at all. He scored with just ten seconds left in the game and saved the team in a story no writer would dare to draft.


Roy Essendoh

Sometimes known as the Teletext Hero, Roy Essendoh’s agent found out through Ceefax (a pre-internet TV news service) that Wycombe Wanderers needed a striker for their FA Cup Quarter Final tie with Leicester City.

The non-league player, currently playing for now-defunct Rushden & Diamonds, got a two-week contract and scored a last-minute goal to put Wycombe through to a semi-final tie with Liverpool, who would beat them en route to their sixth FA Cup Trophy.