John O'Shea: The scorer of important goals

Following his equaliser in Germany last night, Sports Mole looks back on the other important goals scored by John O'Shea.

John O'Shea is by no means a clinical defender, but when he does find the net, it tends to be an important goal.

None more so than last night when with the Republic of Ireland trailing 1-0 to world champions Germany in Gelsenkirchen, O'Shea struck deep into injury time to secure a point for his nation.

It was the latest of a handful of vital goals scored by the 33-year-old during his career to date with Manchester United, Sunderland and the Irish national side.

Here, Sports Mole has looked back on eight of his most crucial strikes.

1. Man United 1-0 Wolves, August 2003
All of the talk in the hours leading up to this encounter surrounded Cristiano Ronaldo, who was making his full debut in a Man United shirt. However, the Portuguese teenager was overshadowed by O'Shea as the Irishman scored his first goal for the club. The game was just nine minutes old when he rose highest to convert Diego Forlan's corner.

2. Arsenal 2-4 Man United, February 2005
A fiery evening at Highbury was settled by substitute O'Shea. His side were winning 3-2, but after Mikael Silvestre had been red-carded, they were up against it. In the final minute, though, Paul Scholes played in O'Shea, who somehow found himself in the centre-forward's position. Then, as Manuel Almunia advanced, he deftly chipped his shot into the far corner of the net.

3. West Ham 1-2 Man United, November 2005
At Upton Park, O'Shea ensured that United would win on their first outing since the death of club legend George Best. The score was locked at one goal apiece when Wayne Rooney swung a corner into a crowded West Ham area. O'Shea got up above his marker and planted a header beyond the reach of Roy Carroll.

4. Liverpool 0-1 Man United, March 2007
Any player that scores a winning goal at Anfield will forever be remembered fondly by the United faithful, just ask O'Shea. The visitors had been battered for most of the contest and also had Paul Scholes sent off, but they headed back down the East Lancs Road with all three points. In stoppage time Pepe Reina failed to hold Ronaldo's low strike and when the ball broke for O'Shea, he lashed it into the roof of the Liverpool net.

5. Everton 2-4 Man United, April 2007
It appeared that United's title challenge had hit the buffers when they fell 2-0 behind away at Everton, particularly with the news that title rivals Chelsea were beating Bolton Wanderers. Nevertheless, they rallied and won through 4-2, with the comeback being sparked by O'Shea after he had poked the ball into the net following a mistake by Everton goalkeeper Iain Turner.

6. Man United 1-0 Arsenal, April 2009
The hosts dominated the first leg of this Champions League semi-final at Old Trafford, although they only had a strike from O'Shea to show for their efforts. Michael Carrick's pass was deflected into the path of the Irish defender and he lashed the ball high into the roof of the net during the first half.

7. Sunderland 1-1 Stoke, May 2013
With the Black Cats looking like relegation fodder, the situation seemed bleak when Stoke opened up a 1-0 lead at the Stadium of Light and then Sunderland midfielder Craig Gardner was red-carded. In the 63rd minute, though, O'Shea secured a valuable point for his team when he scored from close range after Sebastian Larsson had sent the ball into the area.

8. Germany 1-1 Republic of Ireland, October 2014
What a way for O'Shea to celebrate his 100th cap. It seemed that a good Irish performance was going to go unrewarded when Toni Kroos put Germany in front in the closing stages. However, O'Shea beat Mats Hummels to Jeff Hendrick's knockdown in the fourth minute of stoppage time and he was able to flick his shot past Manuel Neuer in the Germany goal.

Wayne Rooney of Manchester United celebrates his second goal with Ryan Giggs during the UEFA Champions League Group D match between Manchester United and Fenerbahce SK at Old Trafford on September 28, 2004
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