Moments of Magic #3 – Nayim

by Neil Sherwin

The third edition of Moments of Magic looks back at a dramatic last minute in the 1995 Cup Winners’ Cup Final.

#3 – Nayim v Arsenal, 1995

Mohammed Ali Amar, better known as Nayim, will be forever in the memories of Arsenal fans for all the wrong reasons.

The former Tottenham midfielder scored one of the most memorable and dramatic goals of the 90s to settle the Cup Winners’ Cup Final between his side Real Zaragoza and the Gunners.

Arsenal were slight favourites going into the clash at the Parc de Princes in Paris, however Juan Esnaider put Zaragoza ahead in the 68th minute

Young Welsh striker John Hartson restored parity nine minutes later and the game went into extra time.

With penalities looking inevitable as the clock ticked over to the 120th minute, a poor Tony Adams header was pounced on by Nayim who took the ball on his chest and launched a monstrous effort towards goal from fully 50 yards.

The ball dropped quickly, taking Arsenal and England goalkeeper David Seaman by surprise as it went over his head and landed in the back of the net.

The goal was harsh on Seaman who had been his side’s hero in the semi final against Sampdoria, saving three penalties in the shoot out.

“It hurts to be beaten like that,” said Seaman shortly after the game.

“But as soon as he hit it I knew I was in trouble because I had started to move up as sweeper behind our defence. It was a superb strike. He certainly meant it.”

The goal subsequently inspired a Tottenham Hotspur fanzine called ‘One Flew Over Seaman’s Head’.

Nayim left Zaragoza in 1997 and joined Spanish Second Division side CD Logroñés for whom he played until his retirement in 2000.

Author Info

Neil Sherwin

Neil Sherwin

Co-editor of BackPageFootball.com and BackPageRugby.com. Writes mostly on Premier League, A-League and MLS with contributions to other sites including TheFootballSack, InBedWithMaradona and Bloomberg's BSports. Has featured on The Guardian's Football Weekly.

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