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Championship Ranked – 2019’s Best Late Game-Winning Goal

By Staff, 04/17/20, 11:00AM EDT


Last season produced some dramatic late strikes, which one do you rate highest?

The drama of a late game-winning goal. There’s nothing quite like it, is there?

A game in the balance, and then suddenly from nowhere someone rises to the occasion and produces a finish that either sends the home fans into mass celebration, or if it’s from a visiting player takes the air out of the venue.

In the 2019 USL Championship season there were plenty of late thrills and spills, but here we’ve picked out 11 outstanding goals that meet the criteria we were looking for.

First, let’s define what “late” means here, which is with less than 10 minutes to go. Then, importantly, it’s got to have decided a game that was previously tied. If you gave your side a late insurance goal that ended up being necessary because your side subsequently conceded, sorry, but that’s out.

Finally, is it the sort of finish that would knock your socks off at the best of times, but even more now that it just won your side three points? We think we’ve found a good list of those, too.

So, here we go. Cast your ballot at the bottom, polls close next Thursday at 3 p.m. ET.

Cesar Romero – Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC, 3/23/19

You could have forgiven Switchbacks fans for not knowing much about Cesar Romero as he made his debut for the club. After this strike against San Antonio FC, though, they were buzzing for the young Honduran.

Duke Lacroix – Reno 1868 FC, 4/20/19

One of the better attacking full-backs in the Championship, Duke Lacroix showed off his finishing ability with this late winner against New Mexico United.

Kris Tyrpak – Austin Bold FC, 6/1/19

It’s pretty much a dream scenario, coming off the bench to score a hat trick, including a stoppage-time winner. That’s what Kris Tyrpak did for Bold FC in Tulsa.

Cameron Lancaster – Nashville SC, 6/16/19

Injuries kept Cameron Lancaster from replicating his Golden Boot form in 2018 for Nashville last year, but when he was on the field the top finishes kept on coming.

Justin Portillo – Real Monarchs SLC, 6/22/19

The Monarchs had equalized five minutes prior to Justin Portillo lining up this free kick from the left flank. His breathtaking finish to the far post grabbed three points away to Real’s rivals.

Daniel Bruce – New Mexico United, 7/24/19

When it comes to producing the spectacular, a shot with the outside of the boot to the top-left corner takes some beating. Daniel Bruce’s winner sent the travelling fans floating home on a cloud.

Nazmi Albadawi – North Carolina FC, 8/10/19

He’s been the man able to pick apart opposing defenses for North Carolina FC for a while now, and Nazmi Albadawi’s strike to down Memphis at AutoZone Park was from the top shelf.

Solomon Asante – Phoenix Rising FC, 9/7/19

The 2019 Most Valuable Player had a bonanza of magical moments during the season, but this free kick to decide a thrilling contest with San Antonio FC was one of the best.

J.J. Williams – Birmingham Legion FC, 10/23/19

The Eastern Conference Play-In Game between North Carolina FC and Birmingham Legion FC looked set for extra time, but J.J. Williams had other ideas with an incredible blast from long range to decide it.

Thomas Enevoldsen – Sacramento Republic FC, 10/23/19

There was an element of turnabout when Thomas Enevoldsen sent Republic FC through to the Western Conference Quarterfinals against New Mexico, answering Bruce’s late regular-season winner with one of his own.

Paolo DelPiccolo – Louisville City FC, 11/2/19

Louisville City FC had its fair share of memorable finishes on the way to a third consecutive Eastern Conference title, but Paolo DelPiccolo’s extra-time winner against Pittsburgh was a thriller.

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