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“Really, really happy,” exclaimed Ahmed Jahouh after scoring his first-ever goal in FC Goa colors on Thursday night in Chennai. “I have been waiting for this for a long time. I don’t always think about it, but it’s there at the back of my mind. 

“I want to dedicate this to all FC Goa fans, who have been backing me since the very first game I took to the field in the Indian Super League.”

Since joining the Indian Super League, Ahmed Jahouh has been one of the linchpins in the FC Goa team – propelling them to success time and again. The Moroccan international has been at the center of all things good at the heart of the Gaurs’ midfield – helping the team realize their philosophy of playing a game based on passing. 

With him in the side, Sergio Lobera has been able to propel his side to the playoffs in each of his two seasons at the club.  

His effect on the game and the team is well documented in the numbers. The midfield maestro has led the charts when it comes to passes in each of the last two seasons.

His deft touch on the ball comes with an equally voracious appetite for serving as the shield before the defensive line. That too has been documented in the numbers – leading the club in tackles and interceptions in each of the past two seasons. 

One number which, however, has always been a bit of a dud for him has been goals. Possessing the ability to hit the ball with a sweet oomph, he has time and again found himself launching rollicking rockets at the goal. The rustle of the back of the net though eluded him time and again. 

That all changed on Thursday night. 

Though having dominated the initial proceedings, the Gaurs knew that they were in for a fight against Chennaiyn – who looked up for a fight under new boss Owen Coyle. They needed one moment from one of the stalwarts to calm the initial nerves down. 

The 27th minute of the game saw Coro intercept an errant pass. The Spaniard had room and time to turn and find Hugo Boumous – who in turn kept his composure and found the run of Jahouh on the left edge of the box. 

Known for his inch-perfect passes, Jahouh this time was able to produce an equally precise finish – slotting the ball well past the extended arms of the diving Vishal Kaith.  

“It was a sweet moment, but even sweeter was the win which takes us back to the top of the ISL,” added Jahouh. “It’s not a part of the pitch that I normally prop up. But the conditions were such that I found myself in a situation where I could make a run. Everything else happened instinctively. It was a good ball and I knew if I can place it well, at such a short distance, the keeper wouldn’t be able to get it.

“In the end, three points from the trip were all that mattered. I am happy I can get both the goal and the three points.”