Saturday, February 4 2023

Watford’s Ismaila Sarr scored from 60 yards in an early contender for goal of the season before seeing his penalty saved in a 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion in English football’s second-tier Championship on Monday.

The 24-year-old Senegal forward opened the scoring for the visitors in the 12th minute with a goal reminiscent of David Beckham’s celebrated strike for Manchester United at Wimbledon in 1996 when, from well inside his own half, as he produced a stunning chip.

Karlan Grant, however, equalised in first-half stoppage-time at the Hawthorns.

But in a match where Albion spurned several chances, Sarr missed a chance to win the game for Watford 17 minutes from time when he could not convert a penalty.

Watford goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann was called into action early on, tipping a well-struck volley from Darnell Furlong over the crossbar before blocking a Grant strike with his legs.

But those efforts were soon eclipsed by Sarr’s extraordinary goal.

Receiving the ball inside his own half from a Craig Cathcart header, Sarr saw Baggies goalkeeper David Button on the edge of his penalty area and lofted a shot over his head and into the unguarded net.

But the Baggies quickly put any sense of shock to one side and were soon back on the attack, with Bachmann preserving Watford’s lead.

The Hornets goalkeeper, however, was eventually beaten in the second minute of time added on at the end of the first half when Grant side-footed the ball into the top corner following an inventive diagonal pass over the defence from Grady Diangana.

Early in the second half, Bachmann produced another fine save when he palmed away Conor Townsend’s angled shot.

Sarr, however, then failed to do from 12 yards what he had managed from five times that distance when his poor penalty was saved by the legs of Button after Semi Ajayi had conceded the spot-kick by pushing the Watford striker.

jdg/iwd

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