Football

J.League promotion play-off ends with dramatic winner from goalkeeper

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It's not everyday you see a goal keeper score a goal in injury time to fire his team towards the play-offs.

Well, just that happened in Japan this week as 36-year-old goal keeper, Norihiro Yamagishi ventured up in the 92nd minute for a corner and headed home over the Jubilo Iwata keeper to give his side Montedio Yamagata the victory.

The breed of shot stoppers that can chip in a goal come at a premium. The likes of Rogerio Ceni, Paul Robinson and Tim Howard can now be joined by Yamagishi in that distinct category.

Most dramatic finish to a play-off of all time

The mad goal happened as the score was locked at 1-1 in the 92nd minute of the play-off semi-final between the two sides.

As the ball was whipped in, Yamagishi ran to the near post to get in front of his man - a run that would make any centre half proud, and managed to loop the ball over a helpless goal keeper.

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J.League promotion showdown is the reward

Montedio Yamagata, would have lost the chance to clinch the final promotional spot to their opponents as Jubilo Iwata had a higher league position.

As a result of the Montedio keeper's heroics, the Japanese risk-takers now have the privilege of facing JEF United Chiba in a match that determines who gets promoted into Japan's top division - the J.League Division 1.

If heart and guts count for anything you have to give the plucky underdogs every chance of reaching the J.League, but it may be wise for Yamagishi not to venture forward unless things get dire in that crunch promotion clash.

Check out the quite spectacular finish to the match yourself in the video at the bottom of the page.

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