Fonte praises Southampton character after 'strange' Begovic goal

The Stoke City goalkeeper gave the away side the lead after just 13 seconds, but the Portuguese defender was proud of the way his side dug deep to mount a comeback
Southampton defender Jose Fonte has hailed his team's character after they put Asmir Begovic's freak goal behind them to earn a point against Stoke City.

The Potters took the lead in extraordinary circumstances as the Bosnian keeper's long kick down field bounced over the head of opposite number Artur Boruc and into the net with just 13 seconds on the clock.

12/1 Southampton are 12/1 with BetVictor to win the Capital One Cup
However, the visitors hit back through Jay Rodriguez to leave them just a point shy of second place and Fonte was delighted with the Saints' spirited response to the unusual setback.

"It was very strange," he told The Daily Echo. "We were in the huddle just before the kick-off saying 'Come on ... we can keep a clean sheet today' and 30 seconds later we were losing 1-0!

"The ball had so much pace on it and skidded on the floor, it was a very weird one and there was nothing we could do about it.

"It's one of those things that doesn't happen very often, it's never happened in a game I've played in before, and was obviously a bit of a shock. But I think we showed tremendous character.

"We dug deep against the wind, we played our passing football, got a very good goal and showed what our team is about."

Mauricio Pochettino's men have lost just once in the league this season and face Sunderland in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday.