All he had to do was put it away.
Sporting Lisbon star Marcus Edwards has been cruelly denied a truly poetic moment against his former club Tottenham in the Champions League.
The 23-year-old from London came close to scoring one of Europe’s great goals after a run that reminded England legend Stuart Pearce of Diego Maradona’s famous goal against the Three Lions in 1986.
But after dancing through his former employers with breathtaking speed and skill, the Spurs academy graduate couldn’t beat goalkeeper Hugo Lloris from six yards out.
Heading into half-time and the game scoreless, Edwards collected the ball just inside Tottenham’s half and quickly opted for chaos.
He put Eric Dier and Ivan Perisic on their butts, led the rest of a petrified Spurs defense, before a fine one-two inside the box.
After a perfect first touch to pass Cristian Romero, Edwards found himself inside the penalty area with the goal at his mercy.
But a tame kick was prevented by a superb save from Lloris.
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Reacting to talkSPORT comments, Pearce said: “It would have been similar to Maradona. That would have been the Champions League goal of the season.
“This run has definitely lit up the game.”
Edwards played just 15 competitive minutes for Tottenham despite 13 years at the club and earning a comparison to former manager Mauricio Pochettino’s Lionel Messi.
And while the tricky striker will lose sleep over his close range failure, Spurs will also ponder what could have been.
Their former player netted more than Antonio Conte’s entire side in the first half on Tuesday night.
And Edwards found himself on the winning side as two last-minute goals secured a 2-0 victory for Sporting.