Dolly savours first Ligue 1 goal

With the 2017/18 campaign nearing its end, Dolly bagged his maiden goal since moving abroad in January last year.

The 25-year-old, who has blown hot and cold for La Paillade over the past 18 months, did brilliantly to make his way towards goal from 40 yards out before escaping his marker and lobbing the Nantes goalkeeper to put his side 1-0 up after 51 minutes.

It was a special goal for the former Mamelodi Sundowns star, who last found the back of the net for The Brazilians in a 4-1 Absa Premiership win over Free State Stars in December 2016.

“Especially because it’s my first goal in Montpellier colours and here in France. It’s been a while, I’ve been working hard and it’s paid off,” Dolly told his club’s media after the match.

“I’m just happy that I contributed to the team’s success and we got the three points.”

Not the most prolific of scorers, the diminutive attacker has labelled the goal his “most special” before conceding that there is plenty room for improvement.

“I think it’s the most special goal because it’s my first one here after so many games, and I haven’t been this lucky to score such beautiful goals – they only come once in a while,” he added. 

“Today I was lucky enough that the ball went in. I think the more I play the more I get my confidence back. I’ve started shooting from outside the box and against Saint-Etienne the goalkeeper saved it, but today I was lucky that it went in.

“With the coach saying that I will be playing, it gave me the confidence that I needed and it was building up, and I think I can just grow from here. There’s still more to come.”

Dolly praised the atmosphere generated by the away supporters at the Stade de la Beaujoire, but was delighted with the three points that ended his side’s three-match losing streak.

“The crowd was magnificent, the people came out and supported their team. Unfortunately for Nantes, they didn’t get the points but we got the three points.

“We haven’t been winning in the last few games and today we won, so hopefully we continue with this form and win the remaining two games of the season to end on a high.”

With two games to go, Montpellier are currently in eighth position and have an outside chance of qualifying for the UEFA Europa League, should Marseille win this year's final against Atletico Madrid and they finish inside the top seven.

At present the top two teams qualify for UEFA Champions League, with the third-placed side entering the play-off round, while the fourth-placed team and the Coupe de France and Coup de la League winners qualify for Europa.

However, if the two cup-winning teams have already qualified for European football – as Paris Saint-Germain have done in the league cup and could also do in the French cup, fifth and sixth place will qualify.

Meanwhile, with Marseille currently inside the top four, should they overcome Atletico next Wednesday, another Europa League spot would become available to the seventh-placed team in Ligue 1.