American Football: Atlanta stun Vikings to reach Super Bowl

THE ATLANTA Falcons last night produced a stunning performance in the final of the National Football Conference to defeat the pre-match favourites, the Minnesota Vikings, 30-27, with a field goal deep into overtime. The result means that the Falcons will advance to the Super Bowl for the first time in their history.

Morten Andersen, originally from Denmark, was Atlanta's hero, kicking a decisive 38-yard field goal to deny the Vikings a fifth Super Bowl appearance.

Minnesota, the National Football League's most successful team this season with 16 victories and just one defeat, had a chance to win the match at the end of the final quarter but Gary Anderson, who had not missed a field goal in two years, drilled his 39-yard kick wide.