I had nothing to lose. The ball was hit perfectly, so then it was just a matter of going for it. Then it was as it was, says Zakaria Sawo to Fædrelandsvennen after the dramatic 2-1 victory over Jerv.
Start fell behind in the second half, but came back and took all three points. Alagie Sanyang equalized first, before striker Sawo sent Londsia sky high two minutes before the end with a crazy goal from a free kick.
And he was so happy that he tore off his shirt in celebration, and received his second yellow card and thus marching orders from the referee. Start still did the job and pulled off a long-awaited victory, after three straight games in a row with losses.
– It clicked for me
After the victory, the Swedish striker admits that the curtains simply went down on the magical moment at the Sparebanken Sør Arena, which will probably be remembered forever by those who were at the match.
mistakes. I hope my teammates can forgive me for it, and I think they will too, says Sawo and smiles.
Sander Sjøkvist, who hit the goal-scoring pass, says that Sawo’s goal is “one of the sickest things” he has experienced on the field.
– Imagine doing that in this match. The most fun match we play this year. Could it really get any better? I actually don’t have much more to say, says an astonished Sjøkvist.
Start coach Sindre Tjelmeland was ecstatic after the victory over the rivals from Grimstad. He calls it all a “memorable evening”.
– This was very delicious. What Sawo did was completely crazy. It is an experience we will talk about for many years, he says.
– He simply lost his head. He didn’t realize what he had done until he got to the sideline to celebrate. It was unnecessary, but we won’t focus on that now. Now we just have to enjoy this experience, adds Tjelmeland about the expulsion to Sawo.
– The situation has affected us
The build-up to the match was characterized by internal cooperation problems and disagreements within the club. As Fædrelandsvennen mentioned earlier this week, sports manager Magni Fannberg was summoned to a discussion meeting on Thursday. Since then, the club has been silent about the outcome of the meeting that was held at the stadium.
The Start camp admits that the last few days have been special, and that the victory over Jerv tastes extra good considering the situation.
– It has affected us, but we have tried all the way to keep it out of the dressing room. We have tried to focus only on doing our job, and give one hundred percent both in training and in matches. We did that today, says Sawo.
– It has been a controlled period. Of course, it affects everyone a little, but we have agreed to stand together and deliver the best we can. We showed that today, says Sjøkvist.
Starting coach Sindre Tjelmeland has himself been under a lot of pressure lately. Before the victory over Jerv, Start had lost three straight matches against Sogndal, Gjøvik-Lyn (third round in the cup) and Fredrikstad.
Several Start supporters have also for a long time demanded the coach’s resignation.
– Personally, I have been very relaxed about it. I have gone to work every single day to give my all for the club. I do everything I can for us to succeed, and the experience we had together today is completely unique, says Tjelmeland.