Saido Berahino ended his two-and-a-half-year goal drought as Stoke knocked Premier League Huddersfield Town out of the Carabao Cup in the second round.
Huddersfield made 10 changes to the side that drew with Cardiff and their winless start to the season continued.
Berahino – a £12m signing in 2017 – scrappily got his first Stoke goal in 913 days as he headed in after James McClean hit the bar.
Debutant Juninho Bacuna’s bizarre own goal made it 2-0 deep in stoppage time.
Bacuna, a summer signing from Dutch side FC Groningen, sliced an attempted volleyed clearance over goalkeeper Jonas Lossl from just inside his own half – at a time when the visitors were throwing players forward in an attempt to equalise.
McClean had forced a good save from Lossl during a low-key opening 45 minutes, played in front of only 7,290 fans.
The result gave Stoke a second straight victory in all competitions and extended Huddersfield’s winless run to eight games, going back to last season.
But that streak pales in to comparison to the goalless spell former West Bromwich Albion striker Berahino endured since he last netted for the Baggies against Crystal Palace on 27 February 2016.
The world when Berahino last scored
- Then Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce had not yet replaced Roy Hodgson as England manager
- Donald Trump had not yet secured the Republican party’s nomination for the 2016 United States presidential election
- The United Kingdom was still nearly four months away from a referendum on European Union membership
- France’s future World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe had scored only one senior goal for Monaco
- Sunderland still had another season ahead of them in the Premier League, before back-to-back relegations to League One
‘He’s only 25 and he’s got a bright career’
Stoke boss Gary Rowett: “He [Berahino] needed a lucky break and he’s reacted well. I’m pleased for everyone first and foremost, but I’m pleased for him.
“He’s only 25 and he’s got a bright career. It’s a good start for him and he’s got to keep working hard. He’s been one of our brighter players and his work rate has been excellent.
“The first day I came in Saido came to see me and wanted to see where he stood and to discuss why previous regimes had maybe ostracised him, maybe?
“He said he’d been to blame for some of his actions and he was honest, which is the first step for anyone who has done something wrong and wants to start afresh.
“All I said to him was forget me – if you work hard for me then you’ll win me over. I told him it’s the rest of his mates he has to win over, he had to earn the respect of his team-mates back and for them to trust him.
“When he scored everybody went over to him, which shows they were all really pleased for him. He’s worked hard since pre-season and earned the respect of his team-mates.”
Berahino ‘will look a yard quicker now’
Former Burnley, Bolton and Blackburn manager Owen Coyle told BBC Radio 5 live: “It’ll be a tremendous boost for him and he is young enough to get his career back on track and get to the level he was at before.
“When you’ve been on a bad run, you are just desperate to get that ball over the line. From a striker’s perspective, it makes a huge difference, to be in amongst the goals.
“Berahino will now look a yard quicker. His body language will change and he’ll be excited about the game.”