Alano's stunning stoppage-time equalizer gets Antlers back on track

Alano's stunning stoppage-time equalizer gets Antlers back on track

The return to MEIJI YASUDA J1 LEAGUE play in Kashima this weekend featured an unforgettable finish, courtesy of Antlers substitute Juan Alano.

Having signaled for only five minutes of stoppage time, the referee gave Kashima Antlers one last chance to snag an equalizer against Vegalta Sendai when they won a corner at 90+7' after extended attacking pressure.

After Alano’s ensuing delivery was cleared right back to him, he needed to get the ball back into the box or the referee would blow for the final whistle—and following some fancy footwork, the Brazilian managed to do just that.

That cross, however, did not find a teammate; instead, it curled, and curled, until it had curled just inside the post for an improbable last-gasp equalizer.

Alano, who had only been subbed on minutes prior, was the unlikely hero, earning Kashima a crucial point in their march up the 2021 MEIJI YASUDA J1 LEAGUE table.

A few weeks ago, the Antlers were one of the hottest teams in the division, but they cooled off and entered the weekend with two losses in their last three league games. The rough patch saw them fall in the table, but Juan Alano made sure the slide was stopped, at least for now, with his first goal of the campaign and a moment that will live long in the memory of Kashima supporters.