Masterblaster Yeboah’s Best Goal for Leeds United


Yeboah Almighty

Yeboah Almighty

Mention the name Tony Yeboah to any Leeds fan – in fact to any football fan with a memory long enough to stretch way back to the mid-nineties, and you can bet that a faraway look will come into their eyes, and they’ll say “Ah, yes – that incredible goal against Liverpool.  Goal of the season, that.”  It’d be difficult to find anyone to argue the point.  But as a fanatical Leeds United fan who has a very special place in his Hero File for Anthony Yeboah, I’m going to try.

The Liverpool goal certainly was a brilliant technical piece of finishing; volleys from outside the box against a class goalkeeper invariably have to be.  At Leeds over the years, we’ve been lucky enough to see a fair few of these bazookas, and Yeboah’s late effort against the Anfield men stands comparison with any of them.  The fact of the goal being at the Kop End of Elland road was of some assistance to the spectacle, but any way you look at it, this was a hell of a strike.  It wasn’t the first goal of this type in front of the Leeds Kop and against the Reds though.  A few years before, Gary MacAllister, a future Anfield hero, scored another fizzer, the ball being played to him in mid air from the left; he let it go across his body before wrapping his right foot round it to thunderous effect, the ball scorching into the net before the ‘keeper (the same David James beaten by Yeboah) could even move.

Yeboah’s strike though was probably marginally better, it came from a headed knock-down forcing the Ghanaian to adjust his body shape slightly as the ball descended towards him, and he caught it so sweetly and with such velocity that James was probably slightly lucky he didn’t get a hand to it; broken wrists have been known in similar situations.  It was a violent, arcing shot, the ball dipping slightly in its trajectory and just clipping the underside of the crossbar before bouncing down to rest, relieved, in the back of the net.  David James can perhaps count himself unlucky to have been beaten by two of the finest volleys I’ve ever seen at Elland Road, then again he might reflect they’d probably have beaten any two keepers on Earth.

The thing is though – tie me up and burn me for a heretic, but I don’t think Yeboah’s howitzer against Liverpool that balmy August night was his best goal for Leeds.  In my humble opinion, that came a few weeks later at Selhurst Park, temporary home of Wimbledon FC.  I am supported in this by Guardian writer Dominic Fifield who, writing in 2011, saw this as his favourite Premier League goal.  He described it thus:

“Watching the ball cannon up from a series of scrappy headers and attempted clearances clearly tested the Ghanaian’s patience. Yeboah snapped on to the loose ball, controlled it on his chest then instep, exploded away from an opponent and lashed a glorious half-volley in off the underside of the bar from distance. It is the ferocity which is most impressive; a blistering effort.”

Sadly, I only saw this goal on television, though I’d planned to attend the match at Selhurst as I was due to be in London that weekend.  Four days previously though, I’d seen a pallid performance against Notts County in a 0-0 League Cup draw – and I just thought, well sod it, I’m not wasting my London time and money watching that sort of crap.  So I was exploring the delights of Selfridges when Yeboah broke Sky TV’s velocity-measuring equipment, and serve me right for a lapse of faith.  At least my wife found it funny, but I was understandably not amused.  Leeds won 4-2 as well, with Yeboah completing a hat-trick, and Carlton Palmer scoring a goal that might well have been Goal of the Month most of the time, but paled into insignificance next to the awesome might of Yeboah.

There are several YouTube videos devoted to paying tribute to Tony’s goals in his too-brief stay at Elland Road, and I’d heartily recommend a search, they’re well worth watching over and over.  I’d be interested to know what others think – I suspect that most will feel his effort against Liverpool was the best; it was a late winner after all, and scored in front of a packed Kop.  I should think this really, because I was actually there, stood right behind the line of the shot as it ripped past the startled James.  But I just can’t help harking back to what I think was an even greater goal, albeit in humbler surroundings.  How I wish that I’d been there for that one.  Tony Yeboah: thanks for the memories.

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4 responses to “Masterblaster Yeboah’s Best Goal for Leeds United

  1. It was a humdinger of a strike. No keeper would have got near it…..Calamity James was just shite, full stop, by the way!!

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  2. Argh the memories! Well as a fully fledged yeboah fan myself I feel qualified to offer an opinion if I may, I was also at elland road that Monday evening! The first home game of the season a very warm night I remember and seeing a sea of white replica shirts around the stands , it’s funny because I always thought the Liverpool goal was his best closely followed by the Wimbledon goal but over the years many fans and pundits have said the Wimbledon goal was his best! Erm in truth many of his goals stick in the memory the Hatrick against monoco ? All 3 were great, the blaster against west ham opening day! I particularly liked the one against Sheffield Wednesday at home when he weaves round 7 or 8 players and smashed it home! The truth is they were all great! And I feel privalidged to have seen him play live many times! I always felt he was far and away the best player on the pitch making the fowlers, shearers etc all big name players at the time look very ordinary on the same pitch! At the time I worked on the turnstiles , it was great getting paid and watching the games for free, I remember fans of all ages excited asking if yeboah was playing today? As if we would have known! But the truth is in his all too short leeds career he was magnificent scoring fantastic goals for me almost 20 years later the best leeds player I have seen in my lifetime, without doubt the best leeds goals I’ve seen! Arguably some of the best ever goals I’ve seen from any team or eara ! I guess that’s why all leeds fans know his name? There have been many many players play for leeds in the last 20 years some leeds fans won’t remember some bad , some good and even a few that were great! But the pick of the bunch for me was Tiger Tony! By a country mile for the way he made me feel as a leeds fan ! The seat of your pants smile on your face that I still get when I see his goals! No coincidence that he went back to Germany and was top scorer the following season I the Bundasliga ! So Liverpool goal or Wimbledon goal? Who cares they were both brilliant ! What would he cost in today’s market!? I often wonder! I know one thing , I wish we had him now!

    Thanks for the memories Tony

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  3. Luckily for me, I was at Selhurst Park that glorious day. It has always been my favourite ever Leeds goal. As you say, the ferocity of that strike was incredible, everything about it was just right. I was side on to the action and another Leeds legend Vinnie, was involved but even he couldn’t stop the brilliant Yeboah, what a powerhouse he was for us!! MOT

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  4. Paul Morris

    The Yeboah goal against Wimbledon was better; I have not seen a goal like it and I doubt Messi or Ronaldo could score a goal like that , whereas the goal against Liverpool hasbeen replicated by other players.

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