Peterborough United central defender Gaby Zakuani rushed to the League One game at Swindon today (October 10) after playing international football for DR Congo in Belgium on Thursday (October 8).
Zakuani was given permission to play for Posh on a designated international weekend as DR Congo were only playing two friendlies - the second of which is on Monday (October 12).
And the popular 29 year-old made it all worthwhile by delivering a man-of-the-match display in the 2-1 League One win in Swindon.
Posh manager Graham Westley praised Zakuani and also club secretary Liz Elsom for organising Zakuani’s return.
“Gaby didn’t want to miss the opportunity to play for a team that is progressing nicely,” Westley stated. “That is typical of the commitment to do well that I have found at the club.
“But it’s important that we also acknowledge the effort put in by people behind the scenes in ensuring Gaby reached the game on time.
“It was worth it as Gaby was fantastic today.”
Gaby played 45 minutes for DR Congo in a 2-0 win over Nigeria in Vise, Belgium on Thursday. DR Congo play Gabon on Monday.
Ben Alnwick: Hardly had a shot to save all game as Swindon struggled to get the ball past blocking defenders or hit the target from numerous shooting opportunities. Spooned one swerving strike past a post and beaten only by a header from a team-mate. Cautioned late on for time wasting 6
Michael Smith: Conceded the free-kick from which Swindon scored their goal after getting beaten on the deck by a skilled opponent, and not for the first time in the game either. Made a couple of useful back post interceptions and delivered a couple of good attacking crosses 6
Callum Elder: Not at his best in possession, but still made a handful of telling forays down the left flank. Gives good balance to the defence and he stopped several potentially dangerous crosses at source 6
Gaby Zakuani: Excellent effort from the DR Congo international. One casual clearance early on almost led to a Swindon goal, but otherwise cleared his lines effectively. Dominant in the air and made several telling blocks and tackles 8
Ricardo Almeida Santos: Much better from the big man. Headed the ball clear powerfully and was a difficult man to pass when Swindon had possession in and around the Posh penalty area. He’s remarkably comfortable on the ball for someone of his stature and he pinged a a couple of beautiful long passes out of defence 7
Michael Bostwick: He was sat on his backside several times by the highly-skilled Ben Gladwin, but he kept picking himself up and kept getting stuck in. He collected his seventh caution of the season and headed into his own net. Passed the ball okay from the base of the midfield diamond 5
Jermaine Anderson: Decent return to action from a midfielder who appears to be improving steadily in all aspects of the game. Excellent first time pass set up the crucial opening goal and he also showed experienced game management when taking a caution rather than letting Swindon break away late on 7
Jon Taylor: Struggled at the start of the game, but improved when switched to the tip of the midfield diamond. Struck a post with a wicked strike and opened the scoring with a left-foot shot from close range which made it three goals in his last two games. Also ran strongly at times with his speed and ball-carrying ability proving useful when relieving pressure. Better awareness when in dangerous positions might have led to a third Posh goal 7
Chris Forrester: What a terrific find this midfielder has been. He’s been good in every midfield position and again at Swindon he kept the ball well even when under pressure. Had a hand in the first Posh goal and was playing steadily when an ankle injury forced him off 20 minutes from time 7
Conor Washington: Worked hard up top. Made some good runs and was involved in some impressive passages of team passing in Posh’s best spell of the game in the run-up to half-time. Never saw a sight of goal and replaced late on 6
Lee Angol: His touch wasn’t as good as it has been in some games this season, but another goal scored as his happy knack of being in the right place at the right time continued. He has made one of the striking positions his own, even if his goal in this game was an absolute gift from the Swindon goalkeeper 6
Jack Collison: (for Forrester, 68 mins)
Souleymane Coulibaly: (for Washington, 78 mins)
Leo Da Silva Lopes: (not used).
Alex Davey: (not used).
Dion-Curtis Henry: (not used).
Marcus Maddison: (not used)
Andrew Fox: (not used).