A gift of a goal! Birthday boy Richards hits ground running at Tivoli

March 03, 2018
Shorn Hector/Photographer Tivoli Gardens FC's Khalfane Richards and his mother after the game against arch rivals Arnett Gardens FC.

Khalfane Richards' goal in stoppage time for his new club Tivoli Gardens against arch-rivals Arnett Gardens was the perfect birthday gift, as he celebrated with the fans after running off the field and into the stands.

Tivoli edged Arnett 3-2 in a pulsating and fierce Red Stripe Premier League encounter at the Edward Seaga Sports Complex, yesterday.

Richards replaced Elton Thompson in the 75th minute and scored in second-half stoppage time. Earlier, Tivoli raced into a 2-0 lead in the first half courtesy of Thompson in the fourth minute and Andre Moulton in the 36th.

However, the defending champions fought back with a brace from midfielder Renae Lloyd in the 47th and 52nd minutes. But the burly Richards, in only his second game for Tivoli, came off the bench and found the winning goal. Richards removed his shirt and celebrated wildly. Not even a yellow card shown by FIFA referee Cardella Samuels, after his celebration, could spoil his joy.

"(Friday) is my birthday, this is a birthday gift. From in the training, during the week, I always said I would score on Arnett because they are the big guns, so I came out and put in the work," a joyful Richards told STAR Sports, following the game.

"I was determined and even if I got two minutes, I was confident in coming on and scoring. It is a very important victory because Arnett was leading us by four points and now it is down to only a point," The 21-year-old, added.

"Last week I played in my first game for the club and we lost 0-1 against MoBay (Montego Bay United). I knew that it was an important game, playing against Arnett," the G.C. Foster College student said.

"I am looking forward to getting a contract in MLS (Major League Soccer) or anywhere else. It is football, a game that I love, so I am taking it step by step," he said.

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