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Shane Long scores winner in FA Cup victory

Shane Long goal

A very well-taken goal.

Shane Long came off the bench on Saturday evening to help Southampton defeat Swansea in the FA Cup.

Long, who came on with 12 minutes left in normal time of the game, scored the game-winning goal in extra time, sending his side through to the next round of the cup competition.

This is despite the fact Southampton spent a total of almost 90 minutes down to 10 men, after Yan Valery received a red card in the 30th minute.

Southampton were actually 2-1 down when Long came on to the pitch, and he also played a part in Mohamed Elyounoussi’s equalier that brought the game to extra time.

Shane Long goal vs Swansea

In extra time, Southampton’s talisman James Ward-Prowse picked up the ball on the right wing. The Englishman played an inch-perfect ball into the box, in the direction of Long.

Long had peeled away from his marker, and volleyed home the ball, making no mistake at all in doing so.

The Tippperary man will turn 35 in two weeks’ time, but he is still as much of a nuisance on the pitch as ever was, even if he has lost a yard of his once blistering pace.

Shane Long winning goal

Speaking just last month, Saints boss Ralf Hasenhüttl explained why despite his lack of gametime, he really wanted to keep Long around at the club.

Shane Long goal

He said: “I was playing until I was 37 years old and, especially in my last years, I was very often only a joker and helped the team when they needed me for 10 or 15 minutes.

“This is the job you have to do then. This time will come for everybody who plays long because it is normal situation in every club that the older players are stepping back and that the job is done from the young ones.

“They still have an important role to play in a club, in a team, in a dressing room – to be positive with us, to support everybody and this is a job he does perfectly.”

Perhaps Stephen Kenny will see it the same way and call him up to the next Ireland squad.

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