Harry Kewell's top five goals

1. Goal v Croatia, June 2006.


In many ways, this was a clumsy goal by his standard, though perhaps Kewell's most important strike. Not only did he send Australia through to the round of 16 in the 2006 World Cup, but in doing so he scrapped lingering doubt surrounding his commitment to the national team. Trailing 2-1 to Croatia with just minutes to go, Kewell latched on to a deep cross that he awkwardly controlled before swiping it into the net with his weaker right foot to beat oncoming defenders and secure the 2-2 draw required to escape the group. Sadly, it was his last meaningful contribution for Australia in a World Cup.

2. Goal v Iran in Tehran, November 1997


Australia's greatest ever footballer announced his name on the world stage in one of the most hostile environments in the world, the packed Azadi Stadium in Tehran. At the age of just 19, Kewell silenced more than 100,000 passionate Iranian supporters by scoring his first international goal in the Socceroos 1-1 draw with Iran in the ill-fated 1997 World Cup Qualifier. It didn't have the superb dribbling or the long-range finesse that Kewell became known for, rather a sense of composure unrivalled by his more experienced teammates who struggled to match his performance under such pressure.

3. Goal v  Arsenal, May 2003. 


Kewell saved one of his best contributions for Leeds for last as he scored a vicious long-range goal that ended Arsenal's title hopes. Cutting in from the left flank, he latched on to a long ball from deep and beat defenders Martin Keown and Oleg Luzhny comfortably for pace before slamming an unstoppable left-footed half volley past David Seaman in goal. It was the first of the three Leeds put past Seaman at Highbury to not only dash the Gunners title hopes but also ensure their own survival in the top flight. It was his 14th goal of the season and final for Leeds before moving to Liverpool in the next transfer window.

4.  Goal v Everton, March 2006.


After spending so long away from the game due to injury, Kewell was back to his vintage best by the end of the 2005-06 season and rewarded Liverpool fans for their patience with a spectacular goal from distance against their cross-town rivals, Everton. Sporting an unusual pony-tail that had developed during his lengthy spell on the injury list, Kewell cut inside from the right flank before unleashing a left footed shot with so much curve and dip that gave goalkeeper Richard Wright no chance of stopping it.

5. Goal v Tottenham, January 2006.


His first home goal in more than two years was one to savour for Liverpool fans and Kewell scored a stunning volley against Spurs that is still remembered as one of the best of his career. Defender Steve Finnan crossed deep into the box and found the run of Kewell who evaded his marker by drifting late at the back post before rattling the back of the net with a fierce left-footed volley. It was a goal that embodied many of Kewell's strengths in attack as it displayed his superb technicaly skill, pace, timing and accuracy.

DIRTY HARRY: The worst five moments

1. Red card v Ghana, 2006.


Sure, it was bad luck and it could've happened to anyone, but the fact that it happened to Kewell after such a testy build-up to the match deemed it more than misfortune in the eyes of the Australian public. Questions surrounding his dedication to the cause and his fitness leading up to the World Cup were raised once again and this time, Kewell turned on the media with a few very public spats. After being rested during Australia's opening game loss to Germany and spending the week prior defending his fitness, his tournament was ended just 24 minutes after it began. Kewell was given a straight red card for denying a goalscoring opportunity with his arm, albeit accidentally, in the Socceroos second group game against Ghana. Asamoah Gyan scored the resulting penalty and Kewell was subsequently suspended for Australia's third and final game. A cup that delivered so much promised ended so forgettably and lasted less than half an hour.

2. Injury v Milan, UCL final 2005.

Kewell was the surprise name on the teamsheet for Liverpool's infamous UEFA Champions League final clash with Milan as coach Rafa Benitez opted for a more attacking lineup against the Italian club who were favourites. It was a show of faith in a player who had his injury problems and was proven to be a failed gamble after just 22 minutes. The Socceroos star collapsed to the ground clutching his hamstring and was replaced by Czech attacking midfielder Vladimir Smicer, who went on to score to the score the vital second goal in the Reds' stunning three goal comeback. By making it onto the field, Kewell still earned himself a winners' medal, but the early injury meant he won't be remembered by fans for taking a part in "the miracle in Istanbul."

3. Injury v West Ham, FA Cup final 2006.

After restoring the faith of Liverpool fans with five months of impressive form, arguably the best of his career, Kewell was this time given a rightful place in the starting lineup for the FA Cup final against West Ham. There was a sense that his inclusion and performances leading up to the match were the basis for a tale redemption for the troubled forward, but yet again it ended in forgettable fashion as he was substituted early in the second half due to a groin injury. There was less anger from the fans than in Istanbul a year earlier, largely due to his stellar form during the build-up - but still disappointment lingered.

4. Penalty v Sydney FC, 2013.


Embarrassment rather than a tragedy, but it was a moment that was lampooned around the world. Harry Kewell stepped up to take a penalty that should've halved the deficit against the Sky Blues at Allianz Stadium but instead heaped more woe on Melbourne Heart with the worst miss of his career. He stubbed the ball into the ground, sending his shot bobbling wide of the goal in an embarrassing miss. He even had to endure taunts from Sydney defenders who pointed out the direction of the goal, such was the gap between his shot and the net. Though, it shouldn't be remembered as a career defining moment. Lionel Messi, Andrea Pirlo and Roberto Baggio have all missed important penalties, though perhaps not as bad as this.

5. Injury v Italy, 2006.

It was the sight that shocked the nation. After rescuing Australia late in the game against Croatia less than a week earlier, the Socceroos' saviour appeared out of the tunnel not as part of the starting eleven players for the second round match against Italy or wearing a bib with the substitutes, but hobbling on crutches. Kewell's foot was heavily bandaged and many thought it was a cruel joke rather than an all-too-familiar scenario. This time it wasn't his groin, rather a case of gout that seemed almost impossible to believe. It was later diagnosed as sceptic arthritis and Kewell couldn't take part in the match that Australia lost 1-0 in the dying minutes. Italy had a man sent-off early in the second half yet Australia struggled to create chances and many fans were left wondering what could have been had Kewell been fit to play.

The story Harry Kewell's top five goals first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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