SYDNEY • The Lightning Bolt was unleashed for the first time on a football pitch as Usain Bolt, seeking to switch careers and realise his dream of becoming a professional footballer, scored twice in his second trial match for the A-League’s Central Coast Mariners.
The world’s fastest man struck in a 20-minute second-half period as the Mariners eased to a 4-0 win over Macarthur South West United.
The first was a coolly taken individual effort while a defensive mix-up gave the Jamaican a second in the pre-season friendly in Campbelltown.
“I think I made some slight mistakes, but I’m just happy to get the chance and I’m proud of myself,” Bolt, who celebrated with his trademark “Lightning Bolt” pose for his first goal, told Fox Sports after his withdrawal on 75 minutes.
“It was a big deal… first start and scoring two goals. This is what I worked towards. I try to get better and I am on the way to doing that.
“Scoring a goal in your first proper match.
“It was a good feeling.”
OFF TO A FLYER
It was a big deal… first start and scoring two goals. This is what I worked towards. I try to get better and I am on the way to doing that.
USAIN BOLT, former Jamaican sprint star, on scoring a brace in his first start for A-League side Central Coast Mariners.
He was again sporting the No. 95 shirt, a reference to his world-record time over 100m as he played up front and started a match for the first time, following on from his 20-minute cameo off the bench for the Mariners over a month ago.
Having worked hard on his fitness since that debut on the Central Coast, the 32-year-old was able to last the majority of the game, but there remains much room for improvement in his general play before he can contemplate winning an A-League contract.
He struggled to find his touch in the first half, but improved slightly in the second.
His first goal, though, indicated some promise as he displayed strength to shrug off one defender before showing poise in front of goal to finish with a low left-footed shot.
The second was a tap-in into an open goal after Macarthur’s goalkeeper and defender had taken each other out.
The decision to withdraw Bolt with 15 minutes remaining, with the prospect of a hat-trick tantalisingly close, was met with predictable boos but he departed to a standing ovation.
THE GUARDIAN, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE