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13/10/2013 09:00, Report by Nathan Thomas

#7 – Becks to the rescue

Late goals have become a hallmark of the Theatre of Dreams and no.7 in our international countdown is one of the most famous in recent years...

Players: David Beckham
Match: England 2-2 Greece, 6 October 2001, Old Trafford

After being vilified for his sending-off in England's 1998 World Cup exit to Argentina, David Beckham went some way to exorcising those demons when, in 2001, the then England captain put in a heroic performance against Greece to secure the national team's place at the 2002 World Cup finals.

With 93 minutes on the clock, England found themselves 2-1 down on home soil. United old-boy Teddy Sheringham had seemingly dragged the Three Lions back into the game after he cancelled out Angelos Charisteas' 36th-minute strike, but Demis Nikolaidis had further shocked Old Trafford when he put the plucky Greeks back in front with only 20 minutes remaining. As it stood, England would have had to suffer the ignominy of having to qualify for the World Cup through the play-offs.

Step forward United star Beckham. Having already put in a performance of tireless exertion, the skipper ensured he would have the final say in this most dramatic of encounters.

England were awarded a free-kick around 30 yards out and, despite protestations from Sheringham, Becks insisted he would be the man to take it. It proved to be a wise choice as, with almost mathematical precision, Beckham curled a sublime strike into the top corner of the Stretford End goal. Pandemonium ensued around Old Trafford as watching audiences realised England's captain had sent the team through to the World Cup finals.

More international moments: #8 – Ince captains England

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