Day Five of our Christmas Advent Calendar
“It's advantage West Brom in the Black Country's battle for the Premiership after a late, late penalty from Igor Balis gave them a remarkable win in the most dramatic of circumstances. Cue pandemonium….” wrote the Guardian after this incredible moment.
Too right. If, back in April 2002, the real pandemonium was another week away, nobody at Valley Parade will forget the ice-cold nerve of Balis as he scored the nerve-jangling penalty which clinched victory over Bradford City.
Albion had endured a nightmare from the penalty spot throughout that extraordinary campaign; by the time this chance came the Baggies were running out of volunteers.
But in an act of calm-blooded execution which elevated the quietly-spoken Slovakian to ‘legend’ status, Balis took the chance and photographers instantly snapped the relief and exultation his face mirrored.
Well done to young Morgan Owen for giving his 2015 echo of the moment.
Missed a day? Catch up with our build up to Christmas below: