Wednesday 25 April 2018

Howe hails Cherries hero Defoe

Watford 2 Bournemouth 2

Watford's Adrian Mariappa challenges Bournemouth's Callum Wilson. Photo: Reuters
Watford's Adrian Mariappa challenges Bournemouth's Callum Wilson. Photo: Reuters

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe was full of praise for "razor-sharp" Jermain Defoe after the veteran striker came off the bench to score a stoppage-time equaliser at Watford.

Roberto Pereyra's strike early in the second half looked as though it would be enough to secure victory for the Hornets, but Defoe struck late on as the visitors left Hertfordshire with a 2-2 draw.

Bournemouth's Joshua King scores their first goal from the penalty spot. Photo: Reuters
Bournemouth's Joshua King scores their first goal from the penalty spot. Photo: Reuters

Kiko Femenia had put Javi Gracia's side ahead at Vicarage Road, only for Bournemouth to equalise before half-time through Joshua King's penalty.

Pereyra put the hosts back in front shortly after the interval, but Defoe turned home Nathan Ake's flick-on in the dying embers to rescue a point for the Cherries.

Defoe, 35, has been used sparingly by Howe in recent weeks following his recovery from an ankle injury, but the Bournemouth manager still believes the England international is a potent goal-threat.

"It was a massive goal from Jermain and a massive point for us," Howe said after the game. "It didn't look like it was going to happen for us in the second half if I'm honest, but the character shone out - the never-say-die attitude - and we only needed one chance.

Watford's Troy Deeney shoots at goal. Photo: Reuters
Watford's Troy Deeney shoots at goal. Photo: Reuters

"It fell to the right person. There is no one you want that to fall to other than Jermain, he is a massive player for us.

"He's got that ability to put himself in positions - he's razor sharp as he's always been in that respect. It was a finish of high class and, at that stage of the game, absolutely priceless for us."

Watford's Daryl Janmaat and AFC Bournemouth's Dan Gosling in action. Photo: PA
Watford's Daryl Janmaat and AFC Bournemouth's Dan Gosling in action. Photo: PA
Watford's Roberto Pereyra celebrates with Abdoulaye Doucoure, Will Hughes and Etienne Capoue after scoring their second goal. Photo: Reuters
Watford's Roberto Pereyra celebrates with Abdoulaye Doucoure, Will Hughes and Etienne Capoue after scoring their second goal. Photo: Reuters

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