For the fourth time in a row, Auckland City FC were knocked out of the FIFA Club World Cup 2013 after just one game. Abdelilah Hafidi’s goal in second-half stoppage time sealed a 2-1 win for Raja Casablanca and confirmed the New Zealand outfit’s elimination from the tournament. Their fifth-place finish at the Club World Cup in 2000 remains this year’s OFC Champions League winners’ best-ever showing at the tournament.
The disappointment was etched on the Auckland City players’ faces at the final whistle. Some of them sat in the dugout with tears in their eyes, while others wandered aimlessly around the Agadir Stadium pitch, their heads hanging.
Auckland striker Roy Krishna could at least take some consolation from the defeat. The 5'6 Fijian striker netted a 63rd-minute equaliser for Auckland, becoming the first player from his country to score at the finals of a FIFA tournament.
After the game, Krishna told FIFA.com about his delight at finding the net: “It was always a dream of mine to score a goal at a World Cup. To score at such a big tournament with teams of the stature of Bayern Munchen was fantastic. Now my name is in the scoring charts. I will remember this moment for the rest of my life and I’m happy I managed to achieve what I did.”
He is unlikely to forget the goal itself, either: A misunderstanding between two Casablanca defenders caused them to run into each other, clearing the way for Krishna, who kept his composure to slide the ball past the goalkeeper and into the net. “That was unlucky for them, but lucky for me,” he said. “I pounced on the chance and I’m happy I managed to score.”
The match will live long in the memory of Krishna who, when he’s not playing the game himself, works as a youth team coach. He is determined to pass on his experience at the Club World Cup to his young players. “It was simply brilliant to play here. Even when you suffer a setback, you must hold on to your dreams. Only then will they come true.”
Krishna managed to fulfil a lifelong ambition of scoring at a World Cup. Who knows what he’ll achieve next year?