Siam Navy FC winger Gabriel Quak becomes first Singaporean to score in Thai League 1 in 3-2 win over Sukhothai FC.
While his compatriots were on international duty with the Singapore national team over the past two weeks, Gabriel Quak spent his time clocking in extra hours on the training ground to keep himself in peak condition.
His time on the training ground with Navy FC paid off as the club managed a superb 3-2 comeback win at home to high-flyers Sukhothai FC on Wednesday evening.
Nelson Bonilla put the visitors in front on 13 minutes before Quak netted his first goal of the season six minutes later to level proceedings.
Bonilla made it 2-1 from the spot in the 30th minute but Narongrit Boonsuk made it two apiece on 55 minutes when he too converted his penalty for Navy FC.
The home side found their rhythm and Chusana Numkanitsorn plundered in the winning goal with 24 minutes left to play to give Navy FC their second win of the season.
Quak’s goal makes him the first Singaporean to score in what is arguably Southeast Asia’s top domestic league at the moment, while Baihakki Khaizan was the first Singaporean to score in Thai football when he netted for Udon Thani in Thai League 2 last month.
“It’s a fantastic, fantastic feeling and I am so happy tonight,” Quak told FOX Sports Asia after the game. “All my extra work after training and in the gym paid off.
“I had a really good week of training, felt sharp, confident with the ball and it all showed in the game tonight.
“I even told my wife I had a feeling I’m going to open my account tonight. She texted me after the game that I scored in the 19th minute on the 19th month of our precious daughter’s arrival.
“Now that the monkey is off the back, I’m glad I didn’t have to wait any longer. But more importantly, the team won.
“I felt terrible after our last defeat which put us in the relegation zone. Hopefully, we can keep the momentum going.”
While his goal puts his name into the history books of Thai football, Quak’s refused to dwell on the heroics and just wants to push on and continue to play well in Thailand.
He was the only foreign-based player not to get a call-up to the national team for the matches against Maldives and Chinese Taipei, something Quak felt became a great motivation for him as he pressed on with club commitments.
“If the national team call comes, it comes. I’m not putting too much thought into it. It is always an honour to play for my country and I’ll always fight for it. All the foreign-based players were called up so maybe that is a sign,” Quak explained.
“In fact, this made me even more determined to put everything into training with my club teammates and all the support I got from those who mattered in the last two weeks has shown me a lot.
“I’m really happy that the Lions got a win against Maldives and it was hard luck against Taipei. Hopefully it will be a better year for Singapore on the international stage especially the AFF Suzuki Cup and as for me, just keep pushing and come what may.”
Navy FC’s next game will be on Sunday when they travel away to take on Ratchaburi Mitr Phol FC.
Photo credit: ณัฐวุติ ประชัยเทพ