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Pandev scores late winner for Genoa off his face

Genoa CFC v US Sassuolo - Serie A

GENOA, ITALY - JANUARY 05: Goran Pandev of Genoa CFC scoring his first goal during the Serie A match between Genoa CFC and US Sassuolo at Stadio Luigi Ferraris on January 5, 2020 in Genoa, Italy. (Photo by Paolo Rattini/Getty Images)

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At 36 years old, former Inter striker Goran Pandev has seen his fair share of wacky things over the course of his soccer career. Chances are, this one’s new even for him.

With Genoa level 1-1 at home against Sassuolo, Pandev provided a late 86th minute winner to push the club out of the bottom of the Serie A table and earn a vital three points in the relegation battle. More interestingly, the goal came off his face.

Pandev came streaking down the middle of the box and took a feed off the left from Andrea Favilli. As Pandev slid feet-first in to meet the ball, Sassuolo goalkeeper Andrea Consigli charged to meet, and got a touch to the initial effort from Pandev. No matter. Pandev’s body bundled over from Consigli’s challenge, and has he crumpled to the turf his face fell straight into the ball, pushing it into the back of the net for the winning goal.

The goal is Pandev’s fourth of the season in his 16th appearance, and it’s an absolutely vital one in the context of the relegation battle. With just their third win of the league campaign, they move to 14 points, pushing them above SPAL and level with Brescia. They now sit just a point behind Sampdoria in the safety of 17th, while 16th place Lecce is also on 15 points and Fiorentina’s disappointing season has them currently with 17.

Pandev has been at Genoa since joining in 2015 from Galatasaray, and has now made 115 appearances, scoring 19 goals.

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