New signing Sergio Córdova introduced himself to his new fans in the best way possible at his first home game for FCA. The Venezuelan netted a deserved equaliser in the 89th minute against Borussia Mönchengladbach, after Augsburg had been pushing for the leveller for the whole second half. The striker’s debut goal therefore earned himself and his new teammates a highly-deserved draw and their first point of the season.
“I’m overjoyed at my first goal and I’m happy to have helped the team with it,” he said shortly after the final whistle in the mixed zone of the WWK Arena. For Córdova, the encounter with the Fohlenelf was just his second ever Bundesliga game since his move from Venezuelan first-division side FC Craracas over the summer. The new striker also has his coach to thank for his first goal. Manuel Baum’s decision to bring on Marcel Heller in the 74th minute proved decisive; it was Heller who provided Córdova with the assist.
The Venezuelan has featured for a combined 37 minutes in both of his Bundesliga appearances so far, and by scoring he has rewarded himself for the hard work he’s put in on the training ground since his arrival. Even though the 20 year old only understands a little German, he can count on his Spanish-speaking teammates to assist him – Brazilian Caiuby, Daniel Opare (who came through the Real Madrid academy) and Alfred Finngogason (played for Real Sociedad) can all help him to communicate on and off the pitch. He is currently working hard to learn German and always has a dual-language dictionary with him, as coach Manuel Baum revealed in the press conference after the game.
First call-up to the Venezuelan national team
While most of his teammates will use the international break to prepare for the next home game against 1. FC Köln on September 9th (15:30 CEST), Córdova will be heading to his county’s national team camp. It’s the first time coach Rafael Dudamel has selected the FCA striker for the senior international side. In World Cup qualifying, Venezuela will face Colombia before coming up against Argentina. Currently occupying last place in the group, it’s mathematically impossible for Venezuela to achieve qualification for next summer’s tournament, but the South Americans can be optimistic about their chances in the future. At this year’s U20 World Cup, Venezuela reached the final, only to be beaten by England 1-0. With four goals in the competition, Córdova was instrumental in his country’s journey through the competition.