Cahill marks debut with spectacular goal
AUSTRALIAN football veteran Tim Cahill kicked off his A-League career in explosive fashion, scoring a half-volley from 35 metres out to open the floodgates in Melbourne City's 4-1 win over cross-town rivals Melbourne Victory at Etihad Stadium last night.
Playing senior club football in his homeland for the first time, the Socceroos' leading goalscorer got things off to the best possible start with a screamer of a goal.
The 36-year-old struck the ball to perfection, beating Carl Valeri to the ball before smashing it into the roof of the net.
Being the league's highest-profile signing in the off-season, it took just under half an hour for the former Everton star to live up to the hype surrounding him.
"For so long Tim Cahill has been the main story - and now he's writing the damn script. That is unbelievable from Tim Cahill. A moment from nothing,” raved Fox Sports' Andy Harper in commentary.
Fox Sports caller Simon Hill beamed: "You just knew he would, didn't you?
"Another little landmark for Australia's greatest ever goal scorer. A first ever domestic league goal at the age of 36, the Socceroos great announcing his arrival in some style.”
Cahill's strike brought back memories of the famous goal he scored for Australia in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil against the Netherlands, where his left-footed volley screamed past Dutch keeper Jasper Cillessen and smashed into the goal off the crossbar.
"(Against) Holland, from a technical point of view (is still No.1) - it was coming over his shoulder, and it was a World Cup,” Fox Sports expert Mark Bosnich said.
"For me this is No.2.”
City manager John van't Schipp even compared Cahill to the late Dutch legend Johan Cruyff after the match.
"To be honest, it went that quick,” he said.
"It (his debut) reminded me ... of Cruyff at Ajax. His first game back in the Dutch league he scored a fantastic goal, the energy he brought, the aura he brought the team (was similar).”
Cahill's goal sent social media into a meltdown, with Twitter erupting as current and former teammates, as well as other prominent Australian sportspeople, were quick to heap praise on the Australian footballing legend.