We never gave up; we stood up, fought back, and got our goal: India midfielder Sahal Samad
Indian men’s senior national football team player Sahal Samad was delighted to be the chosen one to score the match-winner in India’s 2-1 triumph against Afghanistan in the third round of the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers at the Salt Lake Stadium, in Kolkata.
The midfielder was the man of the moment, seizing limelight after bringing home the three points in a last-gasp goal after being subbed on for goalscorer and captain Sunil Chhetri in the closing minutes of the match.
The match-winner spoke to the broadcaster Star Sports and the AIFF Media team after the match.
Here are the excerpts from the player’s interview:
What did the coach tell you when you came on?
Everything changed in a minute because the moment I was about to enter, we conceded a goal and we kept our heads down, but we never gave up. We stood up, we continued our fight, and in the end, we got our goal. Thanks to the team and everyone involved for the win, we’re incredibly happy about it.
Congratulations on scoring the match-winning goal for India. Talk us through the goal, what was going on your mind?
Amazing feeling, you know. It’s always good to score goals and make the team win. I’d like to add that it’s not just me, it’s a total team effort, and you could see that throughout the game, from the first minute we never gave up and achieved the result. I’m happy for the team.
A moment with the 𝒎𝒂𝒕𝒄𝒉 𝒘𝒊𝒏𝒏𝒆𝒓 😍@IndianFootball head coach @stimac_igor with some words of encouragement for @sahal_samad, following his heroics against Afghanistan last night! 🗣️ #AFGIND ⚔ #ACQ2023 🏆 #BlueTigers 🐯 #BackTheBlue 💙 #IndianFootball ⚽ pic.twitter.com/xKb7aAemTt— Indian Super League (@IndSuperLeague) June 12, 2022
Is this goal one of the greatest moments of your career?
I think it is one of the greatest because it's in front of the fans, here in Kolkata and it’s for the national team. I’m really proud of and thanks to Ashique [Kuruniyan] for providing the assist.
How much of an impact does this kind of a win have on you?
A win is always wonderful for any team especially in such situations, where we were leading 1-0, we conceded a goal, and scored another and won the match. It totally increases the team spirit.