5. Nicky Summerbee vs Charlton Atheltic - 25/05/98
The 1998 Division One Play Off final will forever be remembered on Wearside as the most breathtaking, draining and ultimately disappointing game played out by a Sunderland side in our entire history.
Only Sunderland could put the ball in the back of the net a total of ten times (four in the game and six penalties) and still come out as the losing side.
However, the pick of the goals was Nicky Summerbee’s daisy cutter in extra time. After a fantastic little lay-off by Sir Niall, the winger took one touch and smashed a rocket into Sasa’s Ilic’s bottom right hand corner. It was a goal fit to win most matches in a game neither side really deserved to lose.
He went on to take the most emphatic penalty too, but many of us haven’t dared to watch it back since - including the likes of Chris Makin, who admitted during a conversation with Roker Report that he just can’t bear to do so.
You can watch the goal from 2:56 below.
4. Kevin Phillips vs Charlton Atheltic - 25/05/98
Whilst Summerbee’s drive was the best goal of the game from a technical perspective, Super Kev’s record breaking goal at the old Wembley was perhaps the most important for various reasons.
Peter Reid’s side burst into life at the beginning of the second half and had Charlton on the ropes following Niall Quinn’s leveller. With players from both sides throwing their bodies on the line, captain Kevin Ball leap like a lion into a fifty-fifty aerial ball, presenting Phillips with the opportunity to flick the Lads into the lead.
His cheeky flicked lob trickled past Sasa Ilic and nestled itself wonderfully into the bottom corner. The goal meant Phillips had broken Brian Clough’s post-war goal-scoring record for goals scored in a season, and the Lads had completely turned the game on its head.
You can watch the full game below (if you’re brave enough) and Super Kev’s goal goes in from about 1hr 54mins.
3. Raich Carter vs Preston North End - 01/05/37
The Hendon-born hero was the star man the day Sunderland first lifted the FA Cup back in 1937 - the legend of Raich Carter’s cup final clincher lives on almost 82 years later.
One of the Lads’ all-time greats, Carter had lifted the league title a year previous and gave a true captain’s performance at Wembley. In front of 93,495 spectators, the number eight ensured he lifted the trophy come the end of ninety minutes.
As for his goal, after a shock Preston equaliser, the game turned on its head in the 72nd minute as the ball came from the left to Bobby Gurney on the inside-right. Beating his man, Gurney sent the ball over to Carter who, from the inside left position, sent the ball past Burns with a fantastic shot.
Eddie Burbank added a third five minutes from time, but Raich Carter stole the day.
2. Fabio Borini vs Manchester City - 02/03/14
“And Borini scores! Sensation at Wembley!”
What a moment, what a goal, what a time it was to be alive. After a torrid few opening months to the campaign, Gus Poyet had stabilised Sunderland and took us on one of the most exciting cup runs in memory.
A last minute goal to Chelsea in the quarter-finals and a penalty shoot-out win at Old Trafford in the semi final had Wearside believing 2014 might just be our year.
So, when Fabio Borini capitalised on a long ball forward, sprinted past Vincent Kompany and fired home into the corner in the tenth minute, the red and white end of Wembley celebrated like never before.
Whilst the result ended up going against us in the end, for a generation of Sunderland fans the cup run was a sign of true belief in Sunderland. It was also a chance to make history and, for at least forty-five minutes, we dared to dream that we could do just that.
1. Ian Porterfield vs Leeds United - 05/05/73
It couldn’t be anything else really, could it? Ian Porterfield’s goal in the thirty-second minute is far and wide the most iconic moment in SAFC’s history.
Going into the game as huge underdogs against a Leeds United side consisting of Billy Bremner, Johnny Giles and Norman Hunter, Sunderland were definitely not the favourites to lift the famous trophy. However, 1973 was Sunderland’s year and nobody would stop the red and white ribbons being placed on the FA Cup.
Many will point to Jimmy Montgomery’s legendary, logic-defying double save, but had our Scottish midfielder not smashed home the winner in the 32nd minute, 1973 could have looked very different - who knows what could have transpired.
There’s no more iconic Sunderland goal, let alone one at Wembley!