Michael Owen's sensational solo effort against Argentina at France '98 has been voted as the third best goal in England's history by fans on the official England Facebook page.
The striker was just 18 years old when he made his first start as a substitute for England against Romania at France '98. He came on, scored and then hit the post. Even though England did finally lose 2-1 against the Romanians, fans were happy that the player they had been screaming at England coach Glenn Hoddle to bring on was the real deal.
Owen impressed everyone during that game. They couldn't afford to lose but they qualified for the next stage, which happened to be against old arch-enemies Argentina. It was a game that had every England fan glued to their televisions, when all of a sudden Owen scored one of the best solo goals that anyone had ever seen: he beat two defenders, Roberto Ayala and Jose Charmot, before striking the ball from just inside the penalty area.
Speaking to the FA.com, the current-Stoke City striker said: "I saw Paul Scholes on my right, shouting either 'Leave it!' or 'Scholesy’s."
"I wasn’t going to respond to the call.
"When I finally struck it, the keeper Carlos Roa had raced off his line so there wasn’t much space to work in, but I clipped it hard and fast towards the far corner."
England went on to finally lose after a dramatic penalty-shootout. It reduced those there to tears with also having David Beckham sent off for his kick on Argentina midfielder Diego Simeone, who first fouled Beckham.
After the World Cup, Owen's reputation grew with Real Madrid taking an interest in the then-Liverpool striker, who was then sold to Real Madrid. He continued his England career through Euro 2000, World Cup 2002 and Euro 2004 having scored in all three competitions.
However, On 1st September 2001, Germany met England during the qualifying stages of the 2002 World Cup at the Olympiastadion in Munich.
Owen scored a hat-trick for England where they won against Germany 5-1, with Steven Gerrard and Emile Heskey scoring the other two goals. All of England's goals were actually scored by Liverpool players.
Owen has scored 40 goals for his country in 89 games and last played for the national side in March 2008. He has been plagued by injuries throughout the years and was mostly on the substitutes' bench while at Manchester United. He was then later sold to Stoke City on the 4th September 2012 but hasn't played that many games, which is very sad to see that a once England star hardly get a first team game.
Owen will always be regarded as one of the England greats, with his heroic goal at France '98 regularly making top ten lists.
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