It’s crazy to think how one kick of the ball could change history for a football club forever, but it happens.
And for West Ham, that kick came in the 2006 FA Cup final. With the Hammers leading 3-2 going into the final minute of added time against Liverpool, it was looking almost certain that the Alan Pardew’s side would claim their first piece of silverware since the UEFA Intertoto Cup seven years prior, but then Steven Gerrard and changed the history books forever.
The England and Liverpool star, in a moment of genius that only Gerrard could pull off, fired from 30-yards out with a ferocious shot to beat Shaka Hislop at the far post, and to send the game into extra-time.
West Ham United – FA Cup, 2006
We all know what happened next. Nigel Reo-Coker hit the inside of the post in the 115th minute, the game went to penalties, and within four rounds of spot-kicks, it was Liverpool’s day as they lifted the FA Cup in Cardiff.
The 2006 FA Cup final is one of the most heart-breaking days for West Ham fans who experienced that game. The Hammers, who had not won the prestigious cup since 1980, were seconds away from a famous win, but one kick from Gerrard broke Hammers hearts everywhere.
It was a game that Pardew’s side should have won, which is why it is still a dark stain on the history of West Ham. The east London side was the better side for the majority of the game, coming close multiple times to adding to their three goals in the match but ultimately not having the confidence or quality to execute these chances.
The 2006 FA Cup final is often remembered as the final Gerrard scored one of the best Cup final goals in history, but fans and critics alike remember that Paul Konchesky scored a wonder-goal of his own, whether he meant it or not.
The left back’s cross-come-shot in the 64th minute flew over the head of Pepe Reina to put the Hammers ahead with 26 minutes to go, a goal so rare in football that goal these days are often talked about for days when they occur. Had it not been for Gerrard’s wonder-strike, though, it is likely Konchesky’s goal would be in the debate for one of the best in the history of the FA Cup.
West Ham fans, have you recovered from the 2006 FA Cup final?
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