It's the final Championship tie of 2017 for Fulham and at half time against Hull City at the KCOM Stadium the south west Londoners find themselves 2-0 down after a turbulent final 15 minutes of the first 45. If they're going to snatch anything from the match which appeared dead and buried, a saviour is needed.
With the interval looming, Slavisa Jokanovic pulled Floyd Ayite from proceedings and replaced him with a goal-shy Aboubakar Kamara, though many watching through fingers in the terraces wouldn't have anticipated the Frenchman's explosive influence in the second period.
Piercing off the ball runs and frightening pace are just two features of 'AK47's' somewhat staggered game, and just after the referee's whistle to sound the start of the second half, Kamara stretched the Tigers' defence from wide and won the Whites a penalty after being felled just inside the box.
A great opportunity to halve Hull's lead, Kamara stepped up to the subsequent penalty with steely conviction and thunderously rifled the ball into the roof of the net, an authoritative conversion which proved to be the catalyst for Fulham's spirited fightback.
In-front of the target for Kamara throughout the majority of the campaign thus far, failing to dispatch the chances he's been provided has seen the 22-year-old suffer through a barrage of lambasting criticisms, though with all caution thrown to the wind, he redeemed himself to his harsh haters once more after his success from the spot.
Here's why you voted for Aboubakar Kamara as your star performer against Hull City...— Fulham Football Club (@FulhamFC) 2 January 2018
...Influential display after coming off the bench pic.twitter.com/9aiTOwcTZj
The Cottagers probed, prodded and punished Hull's resolute defensive regiment in the 85th minute after a slick move which was orchestrated on the edge of the 18 yard box by Lucas Piazon was threaded through to Kamara, and with the goal all but at his mercy, the striker killed the ball and stunned his marker before nonchalantly rolling the ball past a hapless Allan McGregor.
The hotly-contested encounter on Humberside ended 2-2 and Jokanovic's blushes were spared, and while the likes of Rui Fonte in particular continue to attract scrutiny for their lack of fruition, Kamara has lapped up the plaudits to which he has never amassed before in his career, an invaluable confidence boost indefinitely.
Kamara, being a threateningly mobile striker, caused Hull's back four a number of daunting conundrums and asked questions of their reserves. Although they were two goals to the good, Hull failed to stifle his irrepressible physicality and ingenuity, qualities which saw the capable attacker named as the man of the match by his employers, supporters and officials. Rightly so,
With the bit firmly between his teeth, Kamara will be enthused with his application in the last few weeks most notably. The hit-man had not netted for Fulham since September before his brace on December 30th, though it would be terribly wrong to claim that whenever he's given the nod on match-day he doesn't enter the pitch with the intention to perform, because he's always showcased himself as a dogged, determined member of the fold down by the river.
Fulham's faithful have been howling for a consummate marksman to front the spearhead in the offensive third, and whilst the transfer window is indeed open, Kamara has a golden opportunity against Ipswich Town to further bolster his credentials as a trusted attacker.
'Slav' has dabbled with implementing a false nine in the shape of Stefan Johansen rather than starting an actual recognised striker recently, but now that Kamara's eased open the taps on his goal-scoring record, it's time for the Serbian boss to make the former SC Amiens man the main focal point for his play-maker's to target and utilise in order to allow the floodgates to split against the Tractor Boys at Craven Cottage on January 2nd.