The Bouzanis trait that inspired Toure’s cheeky FFA Cup goal
When Al Hassan Toure surged down the right and into the Melbourne City box in the first-half of Wednesday night’s FFA Cup Final 2019, the only option appeared to cross for a teammate in a better position.
With little space between City goalkeeper and the near post, the best chance of a Reds goal seemed the best bet.
But the 19-year-old had been preparing for this very moment ever since the Reds’ 2-1 loss to Melbourne City on Sunday.
So instead of taking the easy option to play a square pass into the middle where a number of City defenders were stationed, Toure took the initiative on his young – but talented – shoulders.
Knowing the City gloveman has a habit of anticipating a cross, Toure hit a powerful low drive which caught Bouzanis out at his near post to give the Reds the lead on 25 minutes, sending them on the way to the emphatic 4-0 win.
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“In the previous game I saw that he (Bouzanis) was creeping off his line when (Michaël) Maria had a shot,” said Toure on Thursday, still on a high from his achievement on Wednesday night.
“Then I was thinking when I get that chance I’ll go near post and fortunately it worked.”
And that’s like most things the Croydon Kings product has tried since beginning his professional career with the Reds back in August.
The Guinean-born youngster has enjoyed a dream start to his career, scoring four goals on the Reds’ run to the final, while also netting his maiden Hyundai A-League goal against Sydney FC in Round 1.
But the undoubted highlight came at a rocking Coopers Stadium on Wednesday night, as he took out the Mark Viduka Medal for his man-of-the-match display.
Toure helped orchestrate the second goal, showing his strength to hold off City defender Harrison Delbridge before turning and playing a through ball for Riley McGree, who squared to Ben Halloran to finish off.
“We do a lot of gym here,” he explained when asked about his physical strength.
“It’s different to what I’ve experienced before, the gym with [Strength and Conditioning coach] Django [Gentilcore], it’s helped with my strength, power and it’s good that I’m using it in games.”
His role in the Reds’ second goal reduced Toure to tears and the youngster explained it was just raw emotion.
“It’s just unreal that I’m scoring in front of friends and family. It’s overwhelming,” he said.
“After the second goal I felt that I’m a big part of the win and I’m just emotional at the time.”
Asked what his rapid rise meant to his family, as well as other young kids with African backgrounds, Toure said: “The whole community is proud of what I have done.
“I’m happy that I’m able to inspire other kids that didn’t get the opportunity I got. Hopefully in their head they can think that no matter what, you can still make it.
“I just want to show that anything is possible, you just have to play well, do your hardest and hopefully you can get the opportunities that you need to go forward in life.
“I want to show that no matter what troubled background you come from there is always a chance.”
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