A piece of football so horrendous that an Italian website was moved to pick it apart savagely has resurfaced online 24 years after it happened.
The match in question came from a 1993 FA Cup match between Queens Park Rangers and Manchester City at Loftus Road – and while the visitors would go on to win 2-1, the below chance for QPR at 0-0 could (and really should) have put a very different complexion on the game.
QPR threatened from a corner, and after a brief goalmouth scramble, Man City took possession and had ample time to clear the ball. Instead, Steve McMahon made a seriously ill-advised decision to try to play his way out of trouble.
If that sounds bad, it only gets worse from there…
— Ian Andrew Blair (@ianblair99) July 7, 2017
Not only did the backpass attempt go seriously awry when the ball fell short of goalkeeper Tony Coton, but when the ball somehow lands back at Coton’s feet after a last-ditch tackle from another of his defenders, his clearance ricochets off a QPR player and presents Les Ferdinand, who would make his England debut just weeks later, with a gilt-edged opportunity to score.
However, this being the “worst 20 seconds of football play ever”, Ferdinand has no semblance of the composure that would see him go on to score 185 career goals in some very good sides, and instead flails wildly at the ball with the open goal at his mercy, dragging it wide before staying on the ground and contemplate what he’s just done.
Having been recorded by Twitter user Ian Andrew Blair and shared to prominent account “Crap90sFootball”, Italian site l’Ultimo Uomo showed such disdain for what they were witnessing that they wrote a stinging critique more extensive than one would expect to have spawned from a 20-second clip.
On this week’s episode of the Mixer Irish football podcast, we chatted to Shelbourne manager Owen Heary and looked ahead to Irish sides’ big week in Europe, as well as the usual League of Ireland news.