Newcastle United’s Australian wonderkid, Garang Kuol scored his first goal for his country today as Australia beat Ecuador 3-1 in the first of two friendlies between the two nations.
Kuol is currently on loan at Scottish Premier League side Hearts of Midlothian and appears to be struggling to get to grips with things up north.
It was therefore said that his return home to Australia to link up with the international side could be just what he needed to help him. Australia’s coach Graeme Arnold recently said of Kuol: “Garang, at this moment, I think it’s good for him to come back and be in camp. and be around the boys, and we pick up his energy a little bit.”
Kuol’s finish wasn’t the tidiest you’ll see but he won’t care
To be fair to Arnold, he absolutely nailed it as Kuol bagged Australia’s third goal in the 84th minute against Ecuador, tapping the ball into an open goal. It wasn’t the greatest finish you’ll ever see, and there were suspicions of offside, but the goal stood and Garang Kuol is now an international goal scorer.
Speaking after the game, Kuol said (via The Guardian): “Beautiful moment to score a first goal. I think I almost missed it. Happy with the points, the boys fought hard and a win is all we wanted.
“Straight away, the camaraderie, the brotherhood is back, especially after the World Cup. Feels like a second family. Very special place, being with the boys.”
Kuol needs to take this confidence back to Scotland
Hopefully Kuol can now take the confidence that comes with such an achievement and carry it not just into the next friendly against Ecuador but back to Scotland.
As the Scottish Premier League enters the home stretch, Kuol will be hoping to push his way into the Hearts first team for the final few games. As will Newcastle, who will be a touch disappointed with the lack of game time Kuol has been getting in Edinburgh.
Newcastle will have a big decision to make this summer as to whether they want to continue his development in-house in the reserve or youth sides and maybe the odd first-team cameo, or if they send him out on loan again. A lot will depend on what happens during the remainder of the season I imagine.
Whatever happens in the future, there’s no taking away the joy the lad will be feeling today.