Last season's top goalscorer bags opening-day brace
SAIDO Berahino revealed how his work practising penalties on the training ground paid off as he converted from the spot in Albion’s 2-2 draw against Sunderland.
The forward was immediately first on the scene to collect the ball after Victor Anichebe had been pulled to the ground inside the penalty area by Valentin Roberge.
And the Academy graduate made no mistake from the resulting spot-kick, sending Vito Mannone the wrong way from 12 yards.
“I’ve been practising penalties at the training ground so I’ve just made sure I got good contact and then the goalkeeper’s got no chance,” Berahino said.
“Fair play to the lads for letting me take the penalty.”
Berahino converted a second from Craig Gardner’s ball into the box after the break but Sebastien Larsson rescued a point for the Black Cats late on.
“For my second goal, (after Gardner’s cross) I just had to make sure I put it in the back of the net,” he added. “Craig has been great since he’s come in, we’re happy to have him here.
“I’m still learning every game, picking up new things. Even today I’ve learned new things, I do every time I step out on to the pitch.”
Berahino finished his breakthrough season last term by finding the net nine times in 35 appearances in all competitions.
It proved enough to claim the club’s Top Goalscorer and Young Player of the Season awards.
Berahino’s opening-day brace means he is already off on the right foot as he looks to equal or even eclipse last season’s tally.
But the England Under-21 frontman had contrasting feelings at the full-time whistle after Sunderland’s 85th-minute equaliser.
“I’ve got mixed emotions, the lads felt we should have won the game,” Berahino said.
“We’ve conceded two soft goals but we’ll have to build on that – we didn’t lose the game, we’ve got a point. We can build on that and make sure we put it right next time.
“We stayed strong (after Sunderland went 1-0 ahead early on), we kept going and didn’t give up. We just kept at it and put on the pressure.
“We managed to get a second goal but it was unfortunate we couldn’t keep the lead.”