Crouch scores late victor as Stoke beats Southampton 2-1

Peter Crouch came off the bench to score the winner for Stoke City as they beat Southampton 2-1

Peter Crouch came off the bench to score the winner for Stoke City as they beat Southampton 2-1

Peter Crouch has not given up hope of playing for England again after the imposing forward came off the bench to score the victor in Stoke City's 2-1 Premier League victory against Southampton on Saturday.

Crouch came on in place of Saido Berahino, who had a penalty saved by Fraser Forster on the stroke of half-time, moments after Mame Biram Diouf had headed Stoke in front.

Van Dijk, meanwhile, was making his first start for Southampton following a failed move this summer.

Crouch signed a one-year extension with the Potters earlier this year, and it had been thought that the 36-year-old would leave the Bet365 Stadium on a free transfer at the end of this season.

His central-defensive partner Yoshida was sidestepped easily by Xherdan Shaqiri when the Swiss fired at Forster, with Diouf dithering over the rebound and allowing Mario Lemina to stop his shot.

Stoke continued to pressure the Southampton defence in the second period with Forster coming to the rescue again, on hand to halt Shaqiri's deflected cross finding the net before a reversal of fortunes saw Shane Long head over the crossbar twice from two exceptional deliveries from Cedric Soares.

The Potters looked set to double that advantage three minutes later when the otherwise faultless Van Dijk clipped Berahino as he came across him in the box.

However he is Stoke's leading scorer this season with three goals in all competitions and could take heart from Jermain Defoe's recent return to the worldwide fold.

Southampton boss Mauricio Pellegrino, meanwhile, believes his side deserved more following their spirited comeback. "We have to keep believing".

Crouch has not played for England since 2010 but, even at 36, has not given up hope of adding to his impressive record of 22 England goals in 42 global appearances.

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