On November 8, 1997, while playing for Coventry City in the Premier League, Dion Dublin (somehow) managed to hide from Newcastle United goalkeeper Shay Given’s sight. The Irishman had placed the ball on the ground, ready to boot the ball up field, when Dublin stole in, taking the ball off of Given and sticking the ball in the empty net.
At World Cup 2022, Ghana’s Inaki Williams almost managed to achieve the same feat. Losing 3-2 to Portugal in their opening game of the tournament in Group H, Williams stood behind goalkeeper Diogo Costa, who had just collected the ball from a cross.
Unaware of the Ghanaian forward stood behind him, Costa rolled the ball a couple of yards in front of him, aiming to waste a little bit of time before kicking long. However, Williams – like Dublin – shot out from around the keeper, ready to knock the ball out of his feet and shoot at the vacated goal.
Unfortunately, that didn’t come to fruition. Williams instead slipped at the vital moment, unable to keep his footing as he tried to sharply change direction. Costa managed to somewhat tackle him, with Williams rising back to his feet – Portugal’s defenders managed to sprint back just in time, though, Danilo Pereira clearing the ball off the line.
“Look at Ronaldo’s face!” 😲Portugal really got away with one here…#ITVFootball | #FIFAWorldCup pic.twitter.com/zzhVWTKD88November 24, 2022
Inevitably, cameras swapped to the already-substituted Cristiano Ronaldo remonstrating with his goalkeeper on the bench, shouting at Costa to, in no uncertain terms, kick the ball as far as he can next time.
Ronaldo opened the scoring against Ghana on the night, scoring a penalty to become the first men’s player to score in five World Cups. Ghana shot back, though, with Andre Ayew levelling the game at 1-1.
Portugal then started to increase the intensity, with Bruno Fernandes and Rafael Leao both scoring goals in quick succession of one another to seemingly put the game to bed. But Ghana refused to give up, fighting back through an Osman Bukari goal – he even produced a Ronaldo ‘Siu‘ celebration as well.
However, it wasn’t to be for Ghana, the nation losing the game 3-2. Oh, what could have been.