Hot-shot striker Michail Antonio, who has been juggling duties between club and country this year and has scored twice in four appearances for the Reggae Boyz, says he hopes there are more goals to come in his international career.
UK-born Antonio, whose parents were both from Jamaica, has also scored six goals for his English club West Ham United, currently riding high in fourth place in the Premier League, this term.
Antonio opened his Reggae Boyz account at the age of 31 in a 1-1 away draw against El Salvador last month in a World Cup qualifier, producing a deft dink over the advancing goalkeeper.
Despite the superb finish, the goal was met with silence because of the empty stadium in San Salvador, Antonio said in an interview with Flow Sports.
“I scored, but there was no cheering because we had no fans there,” he said, adding that he had started to wonder if he had really scored.
He followed it up with a thunderbolt from outside the area against the United States in Kingston in another 1-1 draw – a “great strike”, he said.
“It was one of those things when you’re on the pitch and you’re in a moment and everything just feels right,” Antonio recalled.
“[The ball] sat nicely for me and I’m just going to strike it. And then after you’ve hit it you realise that the world becomes normal again because you’re kind of in a zone when you’ve got the ball at your feet.”
In a previous interview, Antonio said a Jamaican official had come to England to watch him play for Sheffield Wednesday when he was 22, but admitted he had a terrible game and heard no more from the Reggae Boyz camp.
In 2016, Antonio was called up by new England manager Sam Allardyce for a World Cup qualifier against Slovakia, but was an unused substitute.
The following year Antonio was called up by Allardyce’s successor, Gareth Southgate, for a friendly against Germany and a World Cup qualifier against Lithuania, but pulled out of both matches after picking up a hamstring injury
This year, he applied for a Jamaican passport, pledging his allegiance to Jamaica, and finally made his Reggae Boyz debut in September in a 3-0 defeat against Panama.
Asked if he planned to continue playing for Jamaica, Antonio said: “I hope so,” adding that playing for the Reggae Boyz was completely different from playing for West Ham.
“We use different tactics, different shape, everything is different to West Ham, but it is starting to work out for us. We’re unbeaten in four games now.”