Armando Broja said scoring a goal on his first Premier League start was a "dream come true" as his neat finish against a lacklustre Leeds gave Southampton their first league win of the campaign.
The Slough-born Albanian international striker, on loan from Chelsea, fired high into the net after he was set up by Nathan Redmond at the end of a swift counter-attack in the second-half.
It gave the Saints a deserved three points and 20-year-old Broja a treasured career memory.
"It was amazing to get my first start in the Premier League, I've been dreaming of this moment since I was three years old," he said.
"Scoring on my first start is a dream come true, I couldn't ask for anything better. This is the favourite moment of my career so far, hopefully there are many moments and goals more to come."
Of the goal, he added: "It was a great run from Nathan Redmond, he said before the game the goals will come, just to keep making runs. He put the ball on a plate for me and I was able to finish."
The Saints had been the better side and looked far more likely to break the deadlock throughout, but also suffered from a familiar lack of cutting edge in front of goal.
Prior to the goal, their best chances came from corners, with Broja glancing one header wide and flicking on a second that Mohamed Elyounoussi was inches from converting at the back post.
Leeds, who were missing six senior players, including Patrick Bamford, Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha, only had two shots.
Jack Harrison's drive - deflected over by Mohammed Salisu - was the closest they came but Daniel James also put a good chance past the post after he had nipped in to claim the ball off Salisu in the box.
The win takes Southampton to seven points and 15th place, a point and two league positions better off than Leeds.
"We've been searching for this first win and it is amazing to get it here at home in front of the fans," added Broja.
"Hopefully we can push on and the wins will keep coming."