Keletso Makgalwa reminds Mosimane of a young Percy Tau
Coach decided to bring on the youngster because the player had enjoyed a good preseason
Keletso Makgalwa reminds Pitso Mosimane of a young Percy Tau‚ the Mamelodi Sundowns coach said after the wing came off the bench and played a key role in changing the game in the Brazilians’ 3-1 MTN8 quarterfinal victory against Bloemfontein Celtic at the weekend.
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 the decision to throw in the 22-year-old based on him having had a good preseason.
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Lively runner Makgalwa rewarded the coach by earning the 74th-minute equalising penalty that was slotted home by Themba Zwane‚ and‚ after Mosa Lebusa headed Downs ahead in the 78th minute‚ added an 89th-minute third.
The performance drew the highest compliment from Mosimane‚ who compared Makgalwa to Bafana Bafana star and former Sundowns player Tau‚ now earning rave reviews in Belgium.
“Unbelievable … he reminded me of Percy when he was coming up‚ and we gave him a chance and he took the opportunity‚” Mosimane said.
“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 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‚ he gave Ricardo Nascimento such problems.
“I was just surprised. But these things 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 Stadium on Tuesday.
Tuesday’s PSL fixtures:
Mamelodi Sundowns vs Cape Town City (Lucas Moripe Stadium, 7.30pm).
AmaZulu vs Orlando Pirates (King Zwelithini Stadium, 7.30pm).