Socrates star Hour Mabel says his crucial spot kick in Australia’s penalty shootout win over Peru is thanks to his adopted motherland, for what he has done for her and her family.
Mabil was born in a Kenyan refugee camp in South Sudan before moving to Australia at the age of five and becoming proficient in fast football.
The time to build the talented winger is Tuesday morning (AEST), as he slotted Australia’s final penalty and Andrew Redmine saved Peru’s Alex Valera before sending Peru’s Alex Valera to the World Cup.
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“It was a moment of thanks to Australia for me and my family,” he later told reporters.
“All I had to do was pick my place – I knew I was going to score because that was the only way I could thank Australia on behalf of my family, it was spinning in my head.”
Mitch, 26, came within 20 minutes of approaching Duke, and immediately stepped up the Australian attack – his left-wing campaign created a number of good chances, most notably Azden Hurstik’s effort was well saved by Peruvian keeper Pedro. Gallese after a deviation.
Mabel said that soon after returning to the shed, he was confronted by his family, all of whom broke down in tears.
“It’s a moment I don’t realize right now but I know it’s going to be invaluable, from tomorrow, really, for the rest of my life,” he said.
“I can’t describe the feeling, but it’s a feeling I will always look back on.”
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Mabel’s story is a remarkable one, and one he will never forget, even after confirming a transfer to European football and playing in the Champions League with FC Midtzland.
“Of course the war forced my family to flee Sudan,” he said.
“I was born in a hut, in a small hut – my hotel room here must be bigger than the hut, or bigger than the house we had as a family in the refugee camp.
“Australia has given me and my siblings and my whole family a chance at life to take us and resettle us – and I want to thank Australia.”
He still has many years of brilliant career left, but one thing is for sure – he will go down in football history as one who made a direct impact by reaching the World Cup in Australia.
“I think I can have some influence in Australian football because we are going to the World Cup,” he said.
“I’ve scored, many of my teammates have scored, everyone has played their part – and perhaps that refugee kid has played a big role.”
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