Second cup winner another ‘special moment’ – Ogbonna

Angelo Ogbonna


Almost two years ago, Angelo Ogbonna provided West Ham United fans everywhere with a night to remember when he headed in an FA Cup winner against Liverpool.

Fast-forward almost 21 months, and the Italian was at it again, nodding in the Hammers’ third in another cup tie – this time in the Carabao Cup – to put Slaven Bilic’s men into the quarter-finals.

Andre Ayew had already drawn the visitors level at Wembley against Tottenham Hotspur with a double after Spurs had raced into a two-goal first half lead.

It wasn’t just the centre-back’s second cup-tie winning goal in a Claret and Blue shirt, but also Ogbonna’s second goal in two games, following a similar header against Bolton Wanderers in the last round of the competition.

The defender could not hide his delight at the final whistle and beamed as he hailed the night as one of his top moments at the Club.

“It was so incredible,” he said. “It was a really special night and the way we got back into the game was just incredible. Nobody expected that when we were 2-0 down!

“It was so important for us in this situation we are in, to get the victory. I guess it is not that common for defenders to score so much in cup competitions like this!

“But for me, now I have scored two winners in them and I am very happy. They are both very, very memorable and special for me.

“For me, it is better to focus more on defending but still of course, at Wembley, a huge stadium with a history, it was a great moment for me. More importantly, it was huge for the team and the Club.”

It was a really special night and the way we got back into the game was just incredible. Now I have scored two winners in [cup games] and I am very happy

Angelo Ogbonna

Angelo Ogbonna
With Spurs 2-0 to the good at the break, the Hammers’ chances of staging a comeback looked bleak, but Bilic’s men rallied and soon found a way back into the game through Ayew’s tap-in.

The Ghanaian was at it again five minutes later, side-footing past Michel Vorm and into the top corner from Manuel Lanzini’s centre as the momentum swung the Hammers’ way.

And sure enough, Ogbonna was there to capitalise and head in the winner from another terrific Lanzini delivery.

“We were scared when we were 2-0 down,” admitted Ogbonna afterwards. “We were scared but we talked to each other and we said that we cannot give up, and we have to do something.

“We had to be focused and we had to be brave, because it’s not easy in the situation we are in. No matter what we think, no matter what we say, the important thing is getting results and this will have helped us.

“Maybe we could lose 5-0 or 6-0 but if we focus and do our best and be brave, we can get back into the game and we did so well to do that and get something from this game.

“I think that I was in the right position for the corner. One corner earlier, I missed my chance, so I said to myself I will go there for the next one and if the balls comes, try to get the ball and win it and it was good to do that.”

Without a win in two in the Premier League, however, West Ham are in need of a performance at Selhurst Park against Crystal Palace on Saturday and Ogbonna believes his side can use the confidence gained at Wembley to pick up points.

“It’s given us a good mentality going into the next match, it’s given us confidence,” he explained. “We showed really good form [against Tottenham] so we are excited for the match.

“It’s important for us. [Palace] are a different type of team to Tottenham in the style they play, but we know it will be tough.

“We have to look step-by-step and not talk too early. We have to make sure that we are doing it on the pitch.”