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Balogun: That First Magic Touch

01 November 2018

Brighton & Hove Albion defender Leon Balogun spoke about a surreal three minutes after coming off the bench to score the second goal in a memorable 3-1 victory over Crystal Palace.
 
The Nigeria international was quickly called into action following Shane Duffy’s sending off, and he spoke about the topsy-turvy moments in the game.
 
He said, “I spoke to Steeley [Jason Steele] about it the other day. He said to me, ‘you went from sitting on the bench having a conversation with me, to scoring that important goal, which is crazy’.
 
“You don’t expect anyone to get a red card, and at that point I didn’t even have time to warm up!
 
“I just told myself to get some touches on the ball quickly and build my way into the game. Then I had that first magic touch!”
 
 
Balogun talked through the goal and explained how he acted upon instinct when striking the ball.
 
“I saw the ball coming short, it got deflected, I read the situation and it dropped to my right side.
 
“It was a tough one because it hit the wet grass, and I just wanted to make sure I didn’t kick it out of the stadium! In the end it was a perfect moment.”
 
The experienced defender reflected on the noise generated in the stadium and got a sense of what the victory meant to the fans.
 
“It was a great atmosphere and the second I scored that goal you could hear the emotions exploding and it overwhelmed me.
 
“I didn’t know what to do or how to celebrate! You could definitely feel what the derby meant to the fans, and it was great to come into a game like this and play such a big part.”

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