Usain Bolt Scores First Two Goals For Central Coast Mariners
A goal to remember and a lucky tap-in, sprint king Usain Bolt has scored his first two goals in his professional football campaign.
It was billed as the game which would make or break his bid for an A-league contract, and the Mariner's 4-0 win over Macarthur South West did Bolt's chances no harm.
"I'm just happy that I got a chance and I'm proud of myself, " he said on the sideline.
"It was a big deal. My first start and scoring two goals, it was a good feeling. I've learned a lot and I've been improving quickly, I personally feel."
The 32-year-old scored his first goal in the 55th minute, using a powerful left foot to put a Ross McCormack through-ball convincingly into the back of the net.
As fireworks went up, Bolt celebrated in his trademark style.
Just over ten minutes later, he capitalized on a defensive mix-up and tapped the ball in from a few metres out.
Central Coast netted their first goal with an earlier diving header from McCormack, before doubling their lead with a Jordan Murray strike.
Though Bolt was understandably chuffed to finish up his 75 minutes just shy of a hat-trick, the Olympic champion had a number of other chances to score before being substituted.
As early as the second minute, he was left with the ball at his feet near the halfway line and a clear pitch in front of him.
But despite his aptitude for running, Bolt made a clumsy first touch and was unable to make it as far as the 18-yard box.
Missing another chance at goal, the A-League hopeful leaped above the pack after a well-time run and connected with a header 40 minutes it, but sent it wide of the post.
Bolt made his professional football debut back in August, running out to a crowd of almost 10,000 fans in the 72nd minute of the game.
But Friday's Campbelltown crowd of just under 6,000 had to do no such waiting, with Bolt starting in his central striking role and proving fitter than in his previous performance.
"In four months time I'll be fit," he assured reporters after his first game in August. "I personally feel I'll get a contract by then."
While tonight's performance indicates Bolt still has a ways to go in fulfilling that promise, both in terms of stamina and skill, the game will have likely left Central Coast coach Mike Mulvey with some thinking to do.
"I think I've improved in every area," he told Fox Sports after the match.
"I think my touch is that little bit better. My vision needs to improve a little bit more. I think my running off the ball is where I've improved most."
The A-League kicks off again next weekend, and the Mariners -- with or without Bolt -- will head off to Brisbane to take on the Roar.
Featured image: AAP
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