Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane likens rising star Keletso Makgalwa to a young Percy Tau
Keletso Makgalwa reminds Pitso Mosimane of a young Percy Tau‚ Mamelodi Sundowns’ coach said after the rising star winger came off the bench and played a key role changing the game in the Brazilians’ 3-1 MTN8 quarterfinal victory against Bloemfontein Celtic on Saturday night.
Mosimane said he knew the introduction of a less experienced player in Makgalwa at Lucas Moripe Stadium would raise eyebrows with his team 1-0 down from Ndumiso Mabena’s 57th-minute free-kick.
The coach said he made his decision to throw in the 22-year-old based on him having had a good preseason.
Lively little runner Makgalwa rewarded the coach earning the 74th-minute equalising penalty that was slotted by Themba Zwane‚ and‚ after Mosa Lebusa headed Downs ahead in the 78th‚ added an 89th-minute third.
The performance drew the highest compliment from Mosimane‚ who compared Makgalwa to Bafana Bafana star and former Brazilian Percy Tau‚ now earning rave reviews playing in Belgium.
“Ja unbelievable hey. He remind me of Percy when he was coming up‚ and we gave him a chance and he took the opportunity‚” Mosimane said after the game.
“And it’s good. Last week I saw the boy‚ the right-back [Gregory Damons] who had been playing in the MDC [reserve league]‚ get man-of-the-match. This week it’s our MDC boy who came up.
“I was a little bit disappointed when [Maritzburg United coach] Eric Tinkler returned him‚ and felt that he was not the right player [on loan‚ where Makgalwa played last season‚ but not retained].
“If you remember the match where we played against Maritzburg‚ where as a winger he gave Ricardo Nascimento such problems.
“I was just surprised. But these things do happen. I said‚ ‘I need to keep him’. He had a brilliant preseason.
“And these things come up when you don’t have your normal players. We had nine players not available in the preseason – the six who were in the Africa Cup of Nations and Emiliano Tade‚ Gaston Sirino and Mauricio Affonso injured.
“It gave him a chance. I felt he must play on the wing‚ but today I changed it. I felt‚ ‘No‚ he must play as a ‘nine’.
"And we pushed Lebo [Maboe] to the wing.
“So (on Saturday) we can look brilliant‚ especially with the subs – I brought them right. But it’s lessons learnt from last week [where Chippa United fought back late to 1-1] of doing it right.”
Sundowns meet Cape Town City next in a league match at Lucas Moripe on Tuesday night.
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Mamelodi Sundowns vs Cape Town City at Lucas Moripe Stadium (7:30pm)
AmaZulu vs Orlando Pirates at King Zwelithini Stadium (7:30pm)