Very few of Indian football fans had expected India international Robin Singh to light fireworks at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bangalore on Thursday evening, a day after Diwali, with a goal of the highest level for his senior national team.
Ten-men India got past Guam with a 1-0 scoreline in their sixth World Cup 2018 Preliminary Joint Qualification game in rain-soaked Bangalore last evening, to record their first three points from Group D of the World Cup Qualifiers from the AFC zone.
The dream of making it to the next round of the World Cup qualifiers got over for Stephen Constantine's men long back, but their hopes of becoming eligible for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifying play-off round are still on.
Robin, 25, expressed that he himself was surprised to see his goal that gave Constantine's side their first win and also brought smiles back on the faces of Indian football fans.
The Delhi Dynamos took forward his Bengaluru FC teammate Sunil Chhetri's pass in the 11th minute of the game, cut inside the box, beat the defender and lashed a powerful shot. The ball travelled at a stunning pace, hit the crossbar, and blasted the side netting following one bounce inside the line.
"I was just at the right place at the right time to score. My teammates did all the work. The team is always bigger than a particular person and I thank my teammates for the support", Robin said at the post-match press conference.
Constantine, meanwhile, thought that the ball was travelling somewhere in the orbit, but the British coach exclaimed that he was surprised to see the ball find the back of the net. "To be frank I was looking up into the pavilion to see where the ball has landed up but luckily for us [Robin's] shot went into the top corner!"
Guam coach Gary White also praised the former I-League winner for his goal. "It was a world class finish by Robin Singh and I give all the credit to India for their performance and getting the result they needed," he said.
Re-live the goal from Robin Singh: