Wednesday, February 20, 2013

20 February 2011 - Deportivo Cuts It Close

On 20 February 2011, Deportivo de La Coruña earned a draw with Almería thanks to the first La Liga goal scored by a goalkeeper in open play.

Deportivo had been struggling all season in the bottom half of the table and had just climbed into thirteenth with a shock win over Villareal. Almería, meanwhile, were sitting one spot off the bottom in nineteenth with only four wins in their first twenty-three games (though one of those was a 2-0 away win over Deportivo).

Playing at Almería's Juegos Mediterráneos, the hosts went up 1-0 with a 48th-minute goal from winger Pablo Piatti and looked likely to get the season sweep when they kept the lead deep into the second half. But the referee awarded four minutes of extra time, which proved to be almost enough time for Deportivo to get the equalizer.

The clock actually read 94:02 when Deportivo won a corner kick that the referee allowed them to take. Goalkeeper Dani Aranzubia raced the length of the pitch to be there when the kick came in, delivered by Pablo Álvarez, and headed it past his opposing number. The final whistle sounded immediately afterward.

It was the first goal by a keeper in La Liga since 2002 and the first ever that was not a penalty.

Unfortunately, despite the draw, both Deportivo and Almería ended the season in relegation, though Deportivo returned to La Liga for the 2012-13 season.

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