IT should have been a moment he would be able to tell his grandkids about in years to come, but instead Michael Smith was still trying to get his head around the 6-1 shellacking Northern Ireland suffered at the hands of Germany on Wednesday.
Smith opened the scoring at Frankfurt’s Commerzbank Arena with as sweet a strike as you’ll see, drilling home from 25 yards to put Michael O’Neill’s men into a shock lead.
That was as good as it got, however, on an otherwise forgettable night
"It's probably not the best, but it has to be my favourite,” said the 31-yeat-old of his first international goal.
“I heard someone shout and I'm nearly sure it was Paddy [McNair] saying 'take a touch' - luckily I didn't because I rattled it into the bottom corner. But they're a world class team and it was a bittersweet moment for me.
"They moved the ball really well and they had us on a string really. [Toni] Kroos ran the game and we never laid a glove on them, didn't put any tackles in, didn't hurry them, so it's disappointing from our point of view.
“Everyone is devastated in the changing room. It was a terrible result, but we've got to pick ourselves up for March.”
And the challenge that lies ahead now is an away trip to familiar foes Bosnia, twice conquerors of Northern Ireland during last year’s Nations League campaign.
For Smith, the chance to reach next summer’s European Championships means all the more after he just missed out on the squad for Euro 2016.
Two games now stand between them and a second consecutive appearance, and Smith says they are capable of coming out of the play-offs.
"We knew it was almost certain we were going to Bosnia. We know where we're going now and we've got to prepare for that. We know what we want to do,” he said.
“Tactically, Michael is a great coach and he's still going to be with us in March which is a real plus for us. He'll set us up really well and we'll go there with a strong game plan.
"It's a massive incentive. Also for me, I missed out on the Euro 2016 squad, so I'll be busting a gut to get there. I was gutted not to make the squad but I learned from that experience.
"I went out to France with a couple of mates and watched the games. I was a proud fan, especially in Lyon, it was a fantastic day. It would be nice to play in games like that, so I'm going to do all I can to get there.
“I want to play in March and that's my objective now because it would be fantastic to reach the finals. The lads always talk about Euro 2016 and I want to feel what it's like to get there.”