Baihakki Khaizan became the first Singapore-born footballer to score in Thai domestic football when he netted in Udon Thani’s 3-0 win over Thai Honda on Sunday.
Back in January 2012 when the LionsXII made Singapore’s re-entry to Malaysian domestic football, defender Baihakki Khaizan scored the club’s first goal in a 2-1 loss to Kelantan at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
Six years later, Baihakki created history once again by becoming the first Singaporean footballer to score a goal in Thai domestic football.
The former Johor Darul Ta’zim centre-back rose highest to head home a corner kick from Datsakorn Thonglao in the 23rd minute to help Udon Thani to their first win – 3-0 against Thai Honda – of the season in Thai League 2.
Udon Thani’s cast of seasoned professionals like former Thai national team captain Datsakorn, former Korea Republic World Cup midfielder Kim Jae-Sung, Milan Bubalo and Baihakki seem to be gelling and the Singapore defender is confident of better things to come.
“I feel like I’m reborn on the pitch again,” Baihakki told FOX Sports Asia after the game. “I’m just happy to help my team in any way I can.
“The priority in my mind before the game was to help keep a clean sheet but to score a goal, it just made it that much sweeter.
“It feels great to have scored in every country I played in but the credit has to be shared with all my teammates throughout the years.
“Here at Udon Thani, we have a great captain in Datsakorn. Despite his age, he still has it and together with players like Bubalo, Kim and [Florent] Obama, we just want to play as a team and achieve the target we set for the season.”
2-0 เว้ยเฮ้ยยยย ไบฮัคกี้ เต็มเฮด !!!
Having gone through the uncertainty of being with a club in the off-season after leaving S.League club Warriors FC, Baihakki almost became the first Singaporean to sign for a Saudi Arabian club but there were also rumours of him joining Kuala Lumpur FA in Malaysia.
The confusion continued when Muangthong United came into the fray and it was not until the week of the opening game that saw Baihakki sign for the Thai giants, before being loaned out to Udon Thani.
“I really thought playing for the Warriors was my swansong. I was sloppy and surrounded by negativity. I told myself that I needed to get out and challenge myself again. My Warriors teammates agreed and they too encouraged me to find myself again.
“I couldn’t be more thankful for the situation I’ve been in the past two months. It was an exciting journey from Saudi Arabia to Malaysia and lastly to Thailand.
“Those are all positive moments for any player when you’re still wanted by clubs at this age.
“At 34, I never thought this could happen but I chose to work hard in silence and prove that age is just a number.
“But my family’s loyalty and willingness to back me up also played a huge part in this. The sacrifice of leaving my wife and kids back home to continue pursuing my goal, which keeps me going every day.”
With his immediate future seemingly settled in Thailand, Baihakki is determined to continue his good start to Thai domestic football but there will always be that burning desire to return to the international fray in a Singapore jersey.
?? league stars have a special message for their ?? Brothers ahead of the new ⚽️ season
Posted by FOX SPORTS Asia on Friday, 9 February 2018
V. Sundram Moorthy and the Singapore national team are preparing for the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup at the end of the year and the tactician has promised to keep a close watch on the foreign brigade plying their trade outside of Singapore.
Despite not being part of the Lions setup in recent times, Baihakki has left the door open for a recall but wants to do it the right way, by proving himself at Udon Thani.
“I will always render my service to Singapore. Those moments you get from playing for the country, singing the anthem, fighting for glory in front of our fans, I really miss those moments,” Baihakki declared.
“But I understand that the coach has already got his set of settled defenders. They are quality players but I will push myself even harder and hopefully win a berth on the team. If not, I’ll always be a supporter of my fellow countrymen.”