Bamba dedicates goal and Cardiff victory to Sala
Cardiff City captain Sol Bamba dedicated his goal and a 2-1 victory over Southampton to Emiliano Sala after an emotional match for the Welsh club on Saturday, just two days after Sala's death was confirmed.
The Argentinian striker's body was formally identified by an English coroner last Thursday, a day after it was recovered from underwater wreckage in the English Channel.
"A lot of things were going through my mind. I knew Emiliano. I know he was looking up there. The victory and the goal are for him," said Bamba.
The plane carrying Sala from the French city of Nantes to Cardiff, his new club, disappeared near the British island of Guernsey on Jan 21.
Pilot David Ibbotson remains missing. His family have launched a fundraising campaign to find his remains.
Cardiff had been given permission by the English Premier League to wear shirts embroidered with a yellow daffodil, the national emblem of Wales and the team colour of Nantes.
Before Saturday's kick-off, a minute's silence in memory of Sala was impeccably observed at Southampton's St Mary's Stadium.
Ivorian defender Bamba gave Cardiff a 69th-minute lead only for Southampton to equalise in stoppage time through Jack Stephens. But Kenneth Zohore scored a 93rd-minute winner that took Cardiff out of the relegation zone.
"It has been a tough couple of weeks," Bamba told Sky Sports.
"We knew we had to give our all today. It wasn't easy, but a performance like this was very pleasing."
Cardiff manager Neil Warnock was proud of his side's resilience as he paid his own post-match tribute to Sala.
"Emiliano was a fabulous lad and it's appropriate we came down with our black armbands on and put in a performance like that," he said.
"We could easily have folded, but we were determined. We're limited, but you can't question their character and what they've got under their shirts because they've bags of heart."
Meanwhile, Southampton have promised to ban supporters involved in mocking the death of Sala.
After the game, a video on social media appeared to show two men in the home section of St Mary's Stadium seemingly making aeroplane gestures in the direction of the away supporters.
Southampton confirmed both fans had been spoken to by police and intended to take "an extremely firm stance" over the incident. - AFP