Zimbabwe international winger Bill Antonio has expressed his delight after scoring his first senior goal for Belgian Pro League side KV Mechelen.
The 21-year-old former Dynamos star was the hero at KV Mechelen after coming off the bench to score the winner as his side secured a famous win Bill Antonio away at third-placed Gent, their first league win there in 12 years.
Antonio showed remarkable composure under pressure to slot home the winner after receiving a pass from Yonas Malede.
“It was a nerve-wracking end to the match, so I had to stay focused,” said the goalscorer in an initial response after the match.
“The fatigue was bothering everyone, but I was feeling fresh. I gave two hundred percent to the team, the fans and my family. Scoring the winning goal gives me a great feeling. I got very emotional after I scored. I felt so grateful to God, to my family, to everyone. After celebrating with my teammates and supporters I was laughing again. Mixed emotions, you know. Did I really do this?” I asked myself.”
Antonio also opened up on what went through his mind when Malede played him through?
“During training, everyone always tells me that I should place calmly instead of kicking hard. When I was face to face with that goalkeeper I still thought: ‘Should I go for it or just pass towards the corner?’ Luckily I made the right choice.”
For a young player playing far from home and scoring the winning goal against a top team, Antonio will have a lot riding on him.
“Will my mobile phone explode now? That’s not too bad, I think. And I’m not that busy with social media or regular media. In my home country Zimbabwe they will also want to call me or something, but I remain humble about it,” Antonio concluded with a ear-to-ear smile.
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After an internship with the Mechelen reserves, Antonio signed a professional contract for two seasons in the summer of 2022 with an option for two additional years.
This goal brings the fast winger one step closer to the big breakthrough.