Bryan Ruiz admits his stunning strike against Cardiff City counted for little after the Bluebirds snatched a last-gasp win at the Cottage on Saturday.
Trailing 1-0 to Steven Caulker’s 12th-minute header, Martin Jol made a surprise tactical switch before the break when he introduced Ruiz from the bench.
The move paid off almost immediately as the Costa Rican hauled Fulham level with a goal of real quality. Picking up Sascha Riether’s pass, Ruiz took a touch before curling a superb left-footed strike over a stranded David Marshall.
The Whites couldn’t find a second goal, but appeared to be heading for a point until Jordon Mutch slammed in a fine effort in injury time to win it for the visitors and leave the Cottage stunned.
Ruiz told the official website: “It’s hard to take, especially because it’s happened a lot in the last few games when we’ve conceded late goals. It’s something we need to work on.
“We’re disappointed as we came from behind to make it 1-1 and we felt we could go on and win the game. In the second half we created chances but we didn’t take them.
“I was very happy with the goal because it was a nice shot but when you lose like that, it doesn’t mean much. It was a great goal for them but it cannot keep happening. We had at least one point so to lose like that at the end is difficult.”
After recovering from an ankle injury earlier than expected, Ruiz took his place on the substitutes’ bench against the Bluebirds. He admits he was thrown into the mix sooner than expected when he replaced Alexander Kačaniklić.
“Things weren’t going so well in the first half so the Manager decided to make a change,” stated Ruiz. “I’m not 100 per cent but to score one goal after two minutes was nice. The ankle is good. It’s not perfect yet but in a couple of days I will be fine.”
The Fulham faithful vented their disappointment at the final whistle on Saturday but Ruiz insists the Whites are itching to bounce back.