Thursday 23 May 2019, 19:59

Sagna: It’s a real pleasure to have the fastest goal

  • Amadou Sagna scored the fastest goal in U-20 World Cup history

  • The Senegalese completed a paradisiacal night with a hat-trick

  • Sagna expresses his euphoria and discusses next challenge Colombia

The referee raised his arm to signal the start of play in Lublin, while the excited fans present in the stadium cheered as the FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019 got underway. Senegal had initial possession of the ball, while the Tahiti players were clearly intent on making a solid start to the match.

Straight from kick-off, Les Lions de la Teranga attempted a routine lofted ball down the middle, which was then nodded down by Ibrahima Niane into the path of Amadou Sagna, who was lurking on the right-hand corner of the box.

What followed was the fastest goal in the history of the U-20 World Cup. Sagna controlled the ball brilliantly with his right foot, burst past two Tahitian defenders, and calmly slotted it past a helpless Moana Pito with his left to give Senegal an unexpectedly-early lead and send their supporters into raptures. The time of the goal was recorded as ten seconds, four fewer than the previous record, established by Nigeria’s Monday Odiaka back in 1985.

“It’s a real pleasure to have scored the fastest goal and broken the record,” Sagna, visibly still on cloud nine and smiling broadly, told after the match.

Hat-trick heaven

But there were more celebrations to come for the 19-year-old. Roughly 30 minutes later, he met a precise cross from the left to send the ball flying into the back of the net, despite Pito’s best efforts, and in the 59th minute, he completed his hat-trick with another smart finish.

“Scoring a hat-trick is also pretty special,” he said. “But I can’t take all the credit, because we worked so well as a team. Everyone who played tonight deserved the win.”

However, Sagna made it clear that he realises this is just the start of a process that he and his team-mates hope will last until 15 June, the day of the final, and that although it was a highly memorable evening for him personally, the team’s thoughts should now turn to Senegal’s next two opponents, starting with Colombia on Sunday.

“We’re really happy with this result, because it’s a reward for our great preparation," he said. "Now we simply have to continue in the same vein and focus on our next two games. I’m just so happy.”