Singapore Football

Quak quick to move on after historic goal

Winger keen to focus on next game after becoming first Singaporean to score in top tier of Thai football

Singapore footballer Gabriel Quak is not only quick on the field, but also swift in refocusing.

A day after becoming the first Singaporean to score in the top tier of Thai football, the 27-year-old said while he's happy to break his duck, it's also "time to move on". 

On Wednesday (March 28), the Thai Navy FC winger made history by scoring in a Thai League 1 (T1) match against Sukhothai FC at the Sattahip Navy Stadium in Chonburi.

Surging down the right flank, Quak played a one-two with captain Nattaporn Phanrit before coolly placing the ball into the far corner with his left foot. 

Quak told The New Paper: "(Scoring my first goal is a) great feeling, I'm happy that it didn’t take a long time to come. But the next game will be a brand new chapter. 

"So yes, I was happy but it's time to move on. Games are coming thick and fast these two months."

Quak's goal helped level the score at 1-1. Sukhothai restored their one-goal cushion before the break but Thai Navy scored two more in the second half to seal a 3-2 win and move out of the relegation zone.

There's no telling how crucial this win could be yet for Thai Navy as the five bottom T1 clubs, instead of the usual three, will be relegated this season. Only three will be promoted from T2. 

The Thai football authorities believe that reducing the number of T1 teams from 18 to 16 will further boost the league's quality.

FLASHBACK

Quak's strike also brought back memories of his international goal against Syria in an Asian Cup qualifier five years ago, when he had also cut in on the right to score with his left foot in a 2-1 win at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

While Quak was naturally disappointed at being left out of the recent Singapore side that lost 1-0 to Taiwan in an inconsequential Asian Cup qualifier, he has responded positively with his goal doing the talking.

So what are his thoughts with the year-end Suzuki Cup looming?

He said: "I think it’s gonna be tough with all our neighbouring rivals improving fast, but still, I have faith in my teammates. 

"I wish them all the best for preparations and the tournament. If the call comes for me, of course it’s an honour; if not, I’ll just be focusing on my club football meanwhile."

Thai Navy's next game is on Sunday, when they make the trip west to face Ratchaburi Mitr Phol, who are in the relegation zone, but only three points behind and three spots below 11th-placed Navy.  

Said Quak: "It's gonna be tough, but I think it’s good we’re going in with quite a good morale, hopefully we can get something from this game. Three points would be nice to cap off a good week."

Another goal or more from Quak would be nice too.

gabriel quakThai Navy FC