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West Ham defender so excited about ‘fantastic goal’

PUBLISHED: 17:00 10 February 2016

Angelo Ogbonna scores the winner v Liverpool

Angelo Ogbonna scores the winner v Liverpool

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Hammers centre back Ogbonna says too soon to talk about winning the FA Cup

Angelo Ogbonna wheels away in celebration after scoring the winner v LiverpoolAngelo Ogbonna wheels away in celebration after scoring the winner v Liverpool

West Ham booked their place in the fifth round of the FA Cup after a dramatic extra-time victory over Liverpool at Upton Park on Tuesday night.

The match seemed destined for a penalty shoot-out when Dimitri Payet lofted a free-kick towards the far post and outstanding defender Angelo Ogbonna rose highest to head the ball beyond Simon Mignolet and into the far corner.

The crowd erupted on one of the last nights under the lights at Upton Park and now a trip to Championship side Blackburn Rovers stands between the Hammers and a place in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.

Match-winner Ogbonna was delighted with his winner.

West Ham United's Angelo Ogbonna (left) and Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge battle for the ball during the Emirates FA Cup, fourth round replay match at Upton Park, London.West Ham United's Angelo Ogbonna (left) and Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge battle for the ball during the Emirates FA Cup, fourth round replay match at Upton Park, London.

“It was a fantastic goal because it was my first goal for West Ham and it was in front of my fans and my team-mates,” he said.

“For me, it was unbelievable.”

So was Ogbonna expecting the game to go to penalties? Apparently not.

“No, I think not,” he said with a smile. “I scored in the last minute, but I think it is good for us. It is the fourth time we have played Liverpool, we have won three times. So I think it is our time.”

West Ham United players score their second goal during the Emirates FA Cup, fourth round replay match at Upton Park, London.West Ham United players score their second goal during the Emirates FA Cup, fourth round replay match at Upton Park, London.

The goal was the crowning glory for the 27-year-old former Juventus player, who has scored only one other goal in his career.

Manager Slaven Bilic was full of praise for his efforts.

“The goal was only the cherry on top of the cake,” said the boss.

“He was magnificent. There was no weak link, but Ogbonna played with so much confidence and physical ability which is everything you could ask for.”

So was the player pleased with his performance?

“I train every day for my performance,” added Ogbonna. “Everybody knows who I am, so step by step I am working.

“Sometimes I play bad and sometimes I play good – this is football. Sometimes I am lucky and sometimes I am not.

“I don’t want to make excuses, but I think against Liverpool everything went well for me.”

So can the Hammers win the FA Cup this year?

Ogbonna contemplated the question, then added with a smile: “I think it is too early to speak about that. We have a good chance to go forward, but I can’t predict the future.”

West Ham will have to lift themselves for Saturday’s Premier League trip to Norwich City, and the big defender knows it is not going to be an easy day.

“English football is so dynamic,” he said. “You have to make sure you rest on your day off and prepare for the next game.

“Everyone is fighting and you don’t know, maybe Norwich can play better than Liverpool.

“Maybe they can be more dynamic like Aston Villa were when we went there at Christmas.”

Maybe, but with players like Ogbonna on the top of his game, West Ham will have a big chance.

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