Irankunda ‘surprised’ by late Coopers goal

Following Adelaide United’s 2-0 win over Perth Glory on Sunday evening, Nestory Irankunda reflected on his wonder strike that sealed the three points for the Reds.

Entering the fold with a little over 20 minutes remaining, Nestory Irankunda’s self-admitted lacklustre appearance turned spectacular when his bullet strike arrowed into the top left corner of Glory custodian, Liam Reddy’s, net.

With the Reds already leading 1-0 thanks to a first-half Bernardo effort, Carl Veart’s men had tested the Perth defence a number of times without finding a decisive second goal to kill the tie off.

But a delightfully deft touch and through-ball by fellow second-half substitute, George Blackwood, helped create the opportunity for Irankunda, the latter somewhat surprised to see the ball rifle into the back of the net.

“I just saw the ball go into the net,” Irankunda said to Paramount+.

“I always look down at the ball and when I shoot, I don’t really look up until after I’ve hit the ball.

“I was surprised (because) it was not one of my greatest performances tonight.

“But I am really happy to score the goal for the team.

“I guess it was a lucky shot, but I have a lot of power in my shots so for me it’s normal to score goals like that.”

Irankunda’s cameo also saw him claim the Tomas Dale Medal, which is awarded to the player who conducts themselves in the most sporting manner.

The Medal commemorates Private Dale who died in Afghanistan during operations with the Australian Defence Force in 2010.