TAMPA, Florida – Steeven Langil told his Martinique teammates what he was going to do while he warmed up with them just before entering as a second-half substitute in Saturday’s CONCACAF Gold Cup game against Nicaragua.
Less than two minutes later, he executed as planned with a magnificent individual effort, helping to lift Les Matinino to a 2-0 win at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee.
“I told them exactly what would happen – first ball, I make the run and I’ll score,” Langil said of his 66th-minute stunner. “I jumped the [advertising] board and went straight to them to celebrate.”
With his back to Nicaraguan defender Luis Copete, Langil received the pass from Johan Audel at his feet at the halfway line and flicked the ball with his right foot before turning past Copete into open space.
“The way I controlled the ball was because the defender was right on my back,” Langil said. “The defender was looking more at Kevin Parsemain than he was looking at me so I felt in one touch I could be gone.”
Striding toward the goal, Langil took two touches to get into the box. A hard cut inside the box with his next touch put Nicaraguan defender Erik Tellez to the ground, before a fourth and final slight touch set up a shot that he put under the crossbar from the edge of the six-yard box.
“I turned around and it was a like a freeway. I just went full speed,” Langil remarked. “The defender was covering me there and I made the cut and he falls. Too bad for him, but very good for us.”
It might be the best goal of the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup, but it’s not the best goal Langil said he’s scored.
That came three years ago with Guingamp in French Ligue 1.
“I was about 40 yards away from the goal,” described Langil. “I got the ball. I was able to control past the defender and I just strike the ball as hard as I can from 35 yards out and it’s there.”