Michael Owen's solo strike v Argentina at France '98 has been voted in England's top ten
, just 18 years old and starting his fourth England match, scored the goal of France '98.
The Liverpool starlet put Glenn Hoddle
’s England 2-1 up in a Second Round tie against their old World Cup adversaries Argentina in St-Etienne.
Late last year we asked fans via our official England Facebook page
to choose their favourite Three Lions strikes. The precocious striker’s goal, which enthralled 30,000 fans inside the stadium and millions watching on TV around the globe, has been voted in at number three.
England had won two out of three ‘Group G’ fixtures to book their place in the last 16. Now they faced Argentina for the fourth time in the World Cup, with the matches in 1966 and 1986 having had their controversial moments.
This time they suffered the disappointment of going behind to Batistuta’s spot-kick after only four minutes.
The fleet-footed Owen won the penalty which allowed Alan Shearer
to shoot high into the net for an equaliser and the excitement continued with his memorable strike on 16 minutes.
The talented youngster received the ball from David Beckham
’s delicate chip and set off on a determined run that took him swiftly around Chamot and Ayala before a rifled shot left Roa clutching at thin air.
"I saw Paul Scholes on my right, shouting either 'Leave it!' or 'Scholesy’s'," said Owen. "I wasn’t going to respond to the call.
"When I finally struck it, the keeper Carlos Roa had raced off his line so there wasn’t much space to work in, but I clipped it hard and fast towards the far corner."
There was a lot more drama to come, with a rampant England team knocked out of its stride by a trio of unfortunate incidents either side of the break.
Zanetti slapped a rising left-footer beyond David Seaman to make it 2-2, Beckham saw red after flicking a leg at Simeone and Sol Campbell had a goal ruled out. The course of the match was changed irretrievably and now it was very much ‘backs to the wall’ for England.
But the score remained the same and hopes were high as the shootout commenced, with England believing they had the better goalkeeper in Seaman.
He did manage to block Argentina’s second kick from Crespo, but misses by Paul Ince and David Batty ended England’s chances of avenging their infamous ‘Hand of God’ defeat 12 years before.
Owen took England’s fourth penalty and scored. After his spectacular goal in St-Etienne he was now a world star.
He went on to score 40 times for England in 89 internationals, which placed him fourth on the all-time list behind Bobby Charlton (49), Gary Lineker (48) and Jimmy Greaves (44).
He left Liverpool in 2004 and subsequently played for Real Madrid, Newcastle United, Manchester United and Stoke City. Owen, now 33, was the striker with ice in his veins.
The top ten, so far…
3. Michael Owen v Argentina (June 1998)
4. Geoff Hurst’s third
v West Germany (July 1966)
5. Joe Cole
v Sweden (June 2006)
6. John Barnes
, v Brazil (June 1984)
7. David Platt
, v Belgium (June 1990)
8. Geoff Hurst's second
, v West Germany (July 1966)
9. Steven Gerrard
, v Germany (September 2001)
10. Danny Welbeck
, v Sweden (June 2012)
Next week we'll unveil which goal you voted for as no.2 in England's best.