We're just 20 days out from the World Cup in Brazil, where soccer fans will be missing out on the world-class talents of LA Galaxy forward Robbie Keane [WATCH his most recent MLS goal vs. FC Dallas].
But while the soon-to-be 34-year-old Keane will have his work cut out for him to make it to Russia 2018 with the Republic of Ireland, he can always say he scored in a World Cup. And it was one to remember. Here he tells the story of his 2002 stoppage-time equalizer in a group match against Germany in Ibaraki, Japan.
That certainly stands out in my mind. We actually played quite well in the game. We conceded in the first 15 minutes or something like that [Miroslav Klose, 18th minute), and everyone thought: 'This is it. Germany is going to run over us.'
Then in the 88th minute, something like that, we scored a great goal. I think it was a long ball from someone and Niall Quinn flicked on – one of the players I kind of looked up to for a long time, and as a person as well – to have someone like him actually assisting on the goal was, for me, was great.
I was lucky, the 'keeper got a little bit of a hand on the ball, it hit the post and went in. And I was just ecstatic. Right in front of the home fans as well. It was certainly a special moment.
[Germany] actually got to the final that year [vs. Brazil]. They didn't concede a goal apart from that. Oliver Kahn [Germany goalkeeper] was in goal. And that's the only goal they conceded until the final, when Ronaldo [Brazil] scored two goals against them.
As a kid growing up, collecting sticker books and watching the team [Republic of Ireland], I remember the 1994 World Cup in America when Ray Houghton scored that goal against Italy when he lobbed the goalkeeper. That moment was special, certainly a moment you'll never forget. And for me now, as a player, in years to come hopefully the other players say they remember that goal Robbie Keane scored in 2002.
WORLD CUP MEMORIES: