Anibaba scores goal he'll remember to "the grave"
Ill. – Jalil Anibaba might score 100 career goals some day. But he’ll never top his first.
rookie right back opened his professional account in stunning fashion Wednesday
night, launching a speculative 40-yard shot through a fan-induced smokey haze and into
the back of the net to give the Fire a 2-1 win over the Colorado Rapids in a
US Open Cup play-in match at Bradley University’s Shea Stadium.
was definitely a good first professional career goal,” Anibaba told reporters
after the match. “I saw that I had space and time and I just measured up the ‘keeper. I just tried to get it on frame and hit it as
hard as I can and fortunately it went in. I’ll remember it until the grave, for sure.”
shocking strike sparked a massive celebration that saw Anibaba sprint across
the width of the field to the Fire’s bench, where he jumped into the arms of head
coach Carlos de los Cobos before being engulfed by all of his teammates.
“I was very,
very excited,” Anibaba said. “And when that happens, you don’t really think. You’re
kind of just having fun and that’s what I was doing.”
Anibaba’s teammates were impressed by the goal.
“I thought it was fantastic,” said
Fire captain Logan Pause. “We’ve known since Day 1 that he could crush a
ball. I think the ‘keeper was cheating a bit thinking it was going to be a
cross. He just let it go and what a great goal. It was fantastic.
“We’re just so proud of
him,” Pause added. “He’s been working so hard and he’s integrated into this
team so well and he’s going to be a big part of this team moving forward.”
Stejskal covers the Chicago Fire for MLSsoccer.com. Email him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @samstejskal.