India’s first goal at a World Cup wasn’t scored by chance. Instead, it was a result of hours put in at the training ground. Goalscorer Jeakson Singh revealed on Tuesday they had practised the corner routine several times before it was perfectly executed against Colombia on Monday.
India conceded moments after scoring that goal to succumb to a 2-1 defeat, but Jeakson’s goal was the highlight of the match from the home team’s perspective. Left-back Sanjeev Stalin signalled that it would be an in-swinger that would dip at the near post. “(Defender Anwar) Ali was supposed to go at the first post while I was to be positioned at the second,” Jeakson says.
Just before Stalin took the kick, Ali walked up to Jeakson and inter-changed the positions. “I had a hunch that the ball will land just behind the first defender. So I ran in the space behind him and jumped. The ball was perfect and it landed straight on my head,” Jeakson says.
He powered it home, giving Colombia goalkeeper Kevin Meir no chance. Historic for the team, the moment remains a bittersweet experience for Jeakson. “After we reached the hotel, people were congratulating me for scoring the goal. At the same time, I was disappointed that we didn’t get the desired result,” Jeakson says. “Everyone was a little sad as well.” The defeat meant India are the only team in the group without a point. They play Ghana on Thursday.