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OPENING DAY MEMORY: MAHETA MOLANGO

14 June 2015



Brighton & Hove Albion will find out who they face on the opening day of the 2015/16 season when the fixtures are announced on Wednesday.
 
With that in mind, the club’s media team took the opportunity to interview Albion players past and present on their opening day memories.
 
Next up is Maheta Molango, who scored 19 seconds into his Albion debut in a 3-2 defeat to Reading on 7th August 2004.
 
He told seagulls.co.uk, “It was a dream start for any player making their debut, especially for a foreigner coming over to England.
 
“The goal was similar to something which we tried in training. Paul Reid played the ball just behind the defence, I hit it first time and it flew into the top corner.
 
“When I scored I looked at the referee to check if I was offside. Once I realised it had counted, it was an unbelievable feeling to score with the first ball I touched!”
 
But Molango’s feelings of elation were short-lived, after Dave Kitson fired home Reading’s equaliser just a minute later and Albion were then denied a penalty when the debutant was brought down inside the box by Adi Williams.
 
“There was a clear penalty which the referee didn't give and then they scored, so that was disappointing.
 
“Whenever you score, you always want the team to win as well. It was an important goal for my career, but it was also a sour feeling because we lost the game. The result took away all of the happiness.”

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Molango revealed that manager Mark McGhee was pleased with his display and was overwhelmed by the Albion travelling support on the day.
 
“He congratulated me on my goal and said he was happy with my own individual performance.
 
“Normally as a manager you look at the general performance of the team and it was disappointing to end up losing the game when you put yourself ahead. We deserved at least a point.
 
“I was impressed with our away fans because it is not something you usually see in Europe. Even at the top level in Spain, you don’t see three or four thousand fans travelling to a game. It’s not like anything I had experienced before and it was really unbelievable.”
 
The 32-year-old has now retired from the professional game and is a full-time lawyer working in Madrid. Nevertheless, the former striker still keeps a close eye on Albion’s progress and is thrilled to see the huge strides which the club has made in recent years.
 
“I still look out for Brighton’s results because it’s a club and a city that I feel very close to, and I had an unbelievable time there.
 
“I’m delighted to see how far the club has come because it’s what the city and the fans deserve, but on the other hand I’m sad as I would have loved to play at the Amex and use its fantastic facilities.
 
“Everything is there now for Brighton to be a Premier League club. I really hope they can push for promotion next year.”

 

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