Austin Trusty caps stunning stoppage-time turnaround as Birmingham beat Swansea in thriller
Two late goals capped an incredible comeback by Birmingham as they snatched a dramatic 4-3 win against Swansea.
American centre-back Austin Trusty was the hero, glancing in a header off a Hannibal Mejbri corner to leave home fans at the Swansea.com Stadium in disbelief.
Going into the last minute of normal time the Swans appeared to be cruising to three points after dominating most of the match.
A 57th-minute goal from Dutch striker Joel Piroe had put them into a 3-2 lead, but that margin flattered the Blues who had been largely dismal up to that point.
But Swansea paid the price for not killing off the game.
Veteran striker Lukas Jutkiewicz came off the bench to start the mayhem in the 90th minute.
The well-travelled 33-year-old’s diving header from a Maxime Colin cross looked as though it had earned John Eustace’s men a share of the points and arrested a run of five successive league defeats.
But it got even better for the visiting fans. Deep into added time, and with Swansea down to 10 men having used all of their allocated substitutions before Joel Latibeaudiere limped off, Austin rose highest at a set-piece to spark delirium among the travelling fans.
The Swans were vastly superior for large chunks of the encounter and will be bitterly frustrated at the outcome.
The Blues had not registered a league victory since beating Reading on December 16 – and on the evidence of a performance that for long spells was woeful, it was easy to see why.
Piroe’s second goal of the game – which looked like being the winner – arrived soon after Tahith Chong had drawn the visitors level at 2-2 with a measured finish when put clean through on goal by a Juninho Bacuna pass.
Yet the scoreline flattered Eustace’s side who were shapeless, lethargic and offered next to no threat going forward in the first period.
They did take the lead, though. With their first attack of the match, midfielder Reda Khadra won a penalty when he chased a flicked header by Scott Hogan before nudging in front of Swans centre-back Ben Cabango and forcing advancing goalkeeper Andy Fisher to bring him down.
Hogan fired the spot-kick underneath Fisher’s dive to give the visitors the lead, but that was as good as it got for them for the rest of the opening 45 minutes.
By the half-hour mark Swansea were ahead courtesy of goals from striker Piroe and midfielder Liam Cullen.
Piroe swivelled to strike low past John Ruddy in the Birmingham goal for the equaliser at the midway point of the half, before Cullen tapped in Latibeaudiere’s 29th-minute cross after a defence-splitting through ball from Jay Fulton.
But the swagger of the Swans proved misleading in the context of a truly remarkable finish.
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