Conor Hourihane eyes more goals after ending Swansea City’s free-kick wait
Conor Hourihane has set his sights on more goals after ending Swansea City’s long wait for a goal direct from a free-kick against Brentford.
Hourihane earned the Swans a point after his free-kick found its way through a packed Brentford box and past keeper David Raya.
It was the first Swansea goal direct from a free-kick since Gylfi Sigurdsson netted one against Manchester United at Old Trafford in April 2017.
Bersant Celina and Rhian Brewster had gone close in recent seasons, but their efforts had been credited as own goals after finding the net via the woodwork and the opposition goalkeeper.
Hourihane’s efforts ensured the Swans, who finished the game with 10 men following Kyle Naughton’s dismissal for two bookings, took their unbeaten run to eight games, with Steve Cooper’s side rising back up to second in the Championship table thanks to the 1-1 draw.
Hourihane, who made just his second appearance since arriving on loan from Aston Villa, said: “It was a tough game; Brentford are a good side. We knew the importance going into the game and what it meant to everybody.
“We probably weren't at our best, but we have to battle for every point if we want to be up there. We showed great character, determination and spirit to come back and get a point.
“They scored and with us down to 10 men, it wasn't going to be easy. They were playing well and passing the ball around well when it was 11 versus 11. We dug deep, showed great character and fighting spirit, never gave up and got a hugely important point come the end of it.
“With the free-kick, when you've got a man less, it's probably one of the ways you can try and score. It's a strength of mine and luckily for myself, it went in and hopefully I can get a few more.”
Hourihane, a free-kick specialist, levelled matters just four minutes after Tariqe Fosu-Henry had nodded the visitors in front.
The 29-year-old featured for the full 90 minutes – the first time he’s done so since featuring in the Republic of Ireland’s 0-0 draw with Bulgaria in mid-November – during an enthralling game in SA1.
After making his debut in Saturday’s FA Cup win over Nottingham Forest, in which he featured for 66 minutes, Hourihane made a big impression in the stalemate with the Bees.
Of his goal, he said: “It was a wide free-kick, so I just wanted to swing it in. If you put it into a dangerous area, you never know. Over the course of my career, some have crept into the side-netting. Luckily enough, it missed everyone out and found the net.
“The debut was great at the weekend and winning 5-1 took the pressure off coming into the team against Brentford. To get a goal in my second appearance is lovely for myself to hit the ground running. Hopefully, that can be the start of things.”