90+2: Last Minute Moments That Changed Football History by John Boland – Review

90+2 – Last Minute Moments That Changed Football History – John Boland (2)

By Karl Hornsey

The history of any sport is littered with ‘Sliding Doors’ moments and questions of what might have been, and author John Boland dissects a very specific element of that in this book, looking back at all manner of football matches that have been turned on their head in the final few minutes. It’s a timely book as well, given that supporters are now used to seeing injury time go on and on and on some more, giving ‘late’ goals something of a different meaning and less dramatic feel.

While there’s a brief mention of how injury-time first came about, this is very much a book that covers the modern era, with most of the matches taking place from the 1990s onwards, and that also gives Boland the chance to cover some of the more recent developments affecting the last-minute winner, such as the ill-fated experiment with Golden Goals (and silver ones) and, bringing matters right up to the here and now, the impact of VAR on those celebrating late goals. This is a book that will bring back very vivid memories for supporters on the right and wrong end of the drama, especially as there’s something so memorable, so gutting or so invigorating as a last-minute winner that changes the narrative entirely. But, even if your team or favourite moment isn’t included here (and such is the range of matches covered, then it probably is), there’s plenty for everyone to enjoy.

90+2 – Last Minute Moments That Changed Football History – John Boland (1)“Fascinating read”

Think of late goals in the modern game and the mind immediately hones in on those scored by Manchester United and Manchester City to clinch Champions League and Premier League glory respectively, and of course those are covered, along with dozens, maybe even hundreds, of others at both international and club level. Boland largely focuses on the highest levels of the game, be that World Cups and Euros, or Champions League and the top flights in various European nations, but those lower down the football food chain are thankfully also given a mention.

The chapters are set out to capture late goals in various categories, such as those in the FA Cup and Scottish Cup, derby matches in which the late winner seems to take on an even greater importance, second-leg comebacks and the aforementioned Golden Goals.

If I’m to have one criticism then it’s that some matches and moments are skipped over rather too quickly, with the temptation to include as many goals as possible being given into it, instead of going into greater detail. That said, the likes of Arsenal’s remarkable title-winning goal at Liverpool in 1989 is given plenty of depth, and this will make a fascinating read for anyone who’s experienced the glory and heartbreak of these last-minute moments.

’90+2 – Last Minute Moments That Changed Football History’ by John Boland is published by Pitch Publishing


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