FA Cup: Owls just 20 seconds away from historical penalty shoot-out

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WITH the giant electronic scoreboard at the end of Wembley housing Sheffield Wednesday’s huge army of travelling supporters showing 119 minutes had been played in the 1993 FA Cup final replay, the Yorkshire club seemed certain to make history.

The world’s oldest knockout competition had never been settled on penalties before but that seemed to be the fate awaiting Trevor Francis’s men after almost four hours of football had been unable to separate them from Arsenal.

“As the game entered the final two minutes, it was difficult not to think about the possibility of penalties,” recalls Nigel Worthington, now York City manager but then the Owls’ dependable left-back.

“Back then, no Cup final had been settled on penalties and I really thought ours was going to be, as there was nothing between the two clubs.

“I would have stuck my hand up for a penalty, definitely. I have always thought that the biggest credit should go to the people who do that, even if they miss.

“It can take guts, especially with so much at stake. You are either a hero or villain and that can be tough for some to take.

“But I would rather put myself in that position by having a go than thought, ‘I should have taken one’. We had practised penalties beforehand and I was confident.”

Sadly for Wednesday and their supporters, one final twist saw Arsenal, as Andy Linighan headed in from Paul Merson’s corner, clinch a dramatic victory.

Worthington added: “There were only 20 seconds to go when Arsenal got their winner so we were absolutely gutted.

“A Cup final is a fantastic occasion. It is great to say I have played in a final, even though it is still disappointing to think that we couldn’t win the trophy.

“The Hull lads will love it, no matter what the result.”