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Ireland U21 striker Afolabi 'over the moon' with first senior goal

The 20-year-old Dubliner found the net for the first time since his loan move away from Celtic.

jonathan-afolabi-with-hovhannes-nazaryan Jonathan Afolabi in possession for the Ireland U21s during last September's win against Armenia. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

JONATHAN AFOLABI EXPRESSED his delight after scoring Dunfermline Athletic’s second goal in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Dundee United.

The Dubliner found the net on the hour mark to boost his team’s promotion hopes, as they got the better of a side who have an 18-point lead at the top of the Scottish Championship.

It turned out to be a landmark occasion for the 20-year-old Celtic loanee, who had never scored before in a competitive first-team game at club level.

“I’m delighted with the performance with all the lads and the shift that we put in,” said Afolabi, who’s on loan at Dunfermline until the end of the season.

“I’m over the moon to get my first professional goal. It means a lot to me to get this far. To be able to get my first professional goal in those circumstances is a great achievement for me and the team.”

After beginning his professional career at Southampton, Afolabi signed a three-year deal with Celtic last August. The Glasgow giants, for whom the striker has yet to make a first-team appearance, sent him out on loan in January to accumulate senior experience.

He has started in all three of the games Dunfermline have played since his arrival. Saturday’s result leaves Stevie Crawford’s side two points adrift of the play-off places in Scotland’s second tier.

“All my concentration is here at Dunfermline until the end of the season,” he added. “Then I’ll look elsewhere. As long as I’m here I’ll try and get as many goals as possible to try and impressive everyone.”

Afolabi was named in the Team of the Tournament after starring for the Republic of Ireland U19 side that reached the semi-finals of last summer’s European Championships.

He graduated to a debut for the U21s in September’s victory against Armenia.

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Paul Dollery

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