Gavin Bazunu, the goalkeeper for Ireland, showcased his worth on the field in an unexpected way on Wednesday by heading in a goal that secured a draw for Southampton against Preston North End.
With the Saints trailing 2-1 in the final moments at Deepdale, Bazunu ventured forward for a corner in an attempt to salvage something from the match.
The Dublin native successfully did just that by leaping highest to connect with the set-piece and redirect it into the net, although it was officially recorded as an own goal, as the ball ricocheted off Preston forward Ched Evans after Bazunu’s contact, amidst a crowd of players.
The game ultimately ended in a 2-2 draw, leaving Ireland’s fans eagerly anticipating Bazunu’s potential to save crucial Nations League points in the future.
In addition to his surprising offensive contribution, Bazunu also fulfilled his primary role effectively on Wednesday, making a remarkable save with his foot when Southampton was leading 1-0 in the first half.
Southampton goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu claims a stoppage-time leveller! 😮
But did he score it?! 🧐 pic.twitter.com/CPCcUue2Lg
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) October 25, 2023
Southampton manager Russell Martin expressed his delight in securing a point on the road, stating, “It’s frustrating that we had to rely on a late goal to secure a point, but I’m genuinely pleased with our overall performance throughout the 90 minutes.”
“We needed to improve our defending in the box, but when Preston scored twice in quick succession, it seemed to boost their spirits and those of their fans, which didn’t favor our situation.”
“I cannot fault the overall performance, and I won’t criticize the players because we had to make changes again tonight, and the lads who came in performed admirably.”
“It was quite a dramatic match, I know, but it was the two 10-minute periods before and after halftime that ultimately proved costly.”
Earlier in the game, Will Smallbone, Bazunu’s teammate for both club and country, provided an assist that allowed Kyle Walker-Peters to give Southampton the lead.”