"Goals change games” is a soccer cliché that has been cited in print since at least the late 1990s. The saying has been credited to both Ron Atkinson and Andy Gray.
Wikipedia: Ron Atkinson
Ronald Frederick “Ron” Atkinson (born 18 March 1939) commonly known as “Big Ron” and (earlier in his managerial career) “Mr Bojangles” is an English former football player and manager. In recent years he has become one of Britain’s best-known football pundits. He is perhaps most famous for his idiosyncratic turn of phrase: his utterances have become known as “Big-Ronisms” or “Ronglish”.
Atkinson, Ron “Goals change games.”
Wikipedia: Andy Gray (footballer born 1955)
Andrew Fortescue Mullen Gray (born 30 November 1955 in Glasgow) is a Scottish retired footballer who played for several clubs in Scotland and England. He also represented his country. He was a primary football pundit for Sky Sports, as well as a presenter on Andy Gray’s Last Word, until his dismissal in January 2011 following an inquiry into three occasions when he was recorded making off-camera, sexist comments. On 8 February 2011, Gray, along with fellow former Sky pundit Richard Keys signed with talkSPORT.
Polytechnic Football Club
Mark Cullen - Results Secretary
“Goals change games” Andy Gray
“What drama!” Andy Gray
The Tribune (India)
December 20, 1998
SONGKHLA (Thailand): Thailand’s soccer team took their last bow at the Asian Games today after 3-0 defeat by China in the play-off for third place crushed their medal hopes for good.
But it was Thailand’s English coach Peter Withe who led the lap of honour around the 20,000 seat stadium in the coastal resort of Songkhla, as the crowd rose to their feet in appreciation for their team’s efforts at the games.
“We had five or six good chances but we just couldn’t convert them,” Withe told reporters. “Goals change games.”
14 June 2001, Associated Press, “Galaxy 4, Wizards 0 “:
“Goals change games,” Galaxy coach Sigi Schmid said.
West Ham United
Glenn: We Could Have Done It
“It is an old saying, but goals change games and the complexity of them. If we had gone in at half time still winning I think we would have won the game.”
Conventry Telegraph (UK)
Roeder: I’ll stay and fight
Dec 3 2002
“It is an old cliche but goals change games and they change the way you feel about yourself and the way the other team feels about you. We are frustrated and angry with ourselves because we didn’t take our chances.”
Most Annoying Football cliche
18/12/2006, 9:23 PM
“goals change games” - cop out from losing managers whose team were hanging in there at nil all and attribute the defeat to the remarkable phenomenon of a goal, not the ****e performance.
pie and bovril
Diamonds are Forever
Posted 09 February 2009 - 23:08
You missed Mark McGhee’s favourite: “I’m a great believer that goals change games”
Julie Ellen Gates
Goals change games
2:19 AM - 28 May 09
pie and bovril
Encyclopaedia Of Football Cliches
Posted 27 September 2009 - 15:40
“Goals change games”
Everyone loves the man that said this.
Goals change games. We need one desperately
1:23 PM - 14 Apr 10
KNOCKOUT ROUND: United States 1 – 2 Ghana (aet)
June 26th, 2010 by SeveSanchez
That’s about all I can offer you right now it terms of gameplay. The old adage is “goals change games,” as ESPN likes to rephrase and pretend they invented (”one goal changes everything”). And that’s what could very well happen this evening. One tiny, little goal and all preparations go out the window with one nation’s optimism.
Goals Change Games
Published on Mar 18, 2012
The Blackpool Gazette (UK)
Alexander hails ‘exceptional’ win
Published on Wednesday 2 January 2013 08:03
“Goals change games is the old saying and thankfully today we didn’t concede one.”