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Boulaye Dia: Villarreal striker scores first Champions League goal against Liverpool

1:36 AM IST 04/05/22
BOULAYE DIA VILLARREAL CHAMPIONS LEAGUE 03052022
The Senegal international scored his first goal in the European competition as the Yellow Submarine took the lead against the Reds

Villarreal striker Boulaye Dia scored his first Champions League goal against Liverpool in Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final second leg fixture.

With the Spaniards needing to erase their 2-0 first leg deficit against the Premier League side, the Yellow Submarine took an early lead at the Estadio de la Ceramica.

Etienne Capoue evaded Andy Robertson at the far post to cushion Pervis Estupinan's deep cross back into the danger zone, where Dia reacted quickest to steer into an empty net.

The Senegal international’s goal came after two minutes and 51 seconds, and that is the earliest the Premier League side has conceded in the competition since April 2018 (01:57 vs Manchester City).

Four minutes before the half time break, Unai Emery’s men doubled the Liga side’s advantage as Francis Coquelin headed Capoue’s cross past goalkeeper Alisson.

25-year-old Dia teamed up with Villarreal after previously representing Stade de Reims for three seasons at the Stade Auguste-Delaune.

Signed for an undisclosed fee, he was handed a five-year contract which will keep him at the Spanish elite division side until 2026.

Blessed with great speed, the African featured in a total of 88 matches for the Red and Whites while finding the net on 28 occasions.

In the 2020-21 campaign, he featured in 36 French elite division games with 14 goals to his credit. However, his team finished 14th in the log after garnering 42 points from 38 outings.

Following his move to Estadio de la Ceramica, the Senegal star became the third African in Emery's squad at that time after Samuel Chukwueze (Nigeria) and Aissa Mandi (Algeria).

On the international scene, he was invited by coach Aliou Cisse to represent the Lions of Teranga on October 1, 2020. Eight days later, he made his bow in Senegal’s 3-1 defeat to Morocco.

He was part of the country’s squad that won the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon after defeating Egypt on penalties in the final.