Orlando Pirates striker Tshegofatso Mabasa has received high praise from his coach, after his match-winning heroics against SuperSport United on Saturday evening.
It was only last week that Pirates announced the 23-year-old striker along with defender Bongani Sam had resumed training following a lengthy injury layoff.
The match against SuperSport- which is known for producing goals- looked to be heading for a draw, until Mabasa announced his return to the Orlando Stadium.
Just six minutes after coming on for goal scorer Zakhele Lepasa, Mabasa showed his predatory instincts, pouncing on a loose ball that came as a result of miscommunication between Luke Fleurs and Ronwen Williams as well as impressive persistence from Innocent Maela.
After the match, Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer revealed his satisfaction with the striker’s impact and shared that he had been raring to go after scoring a midweek hattrick in a friendly match.
“We are happy about him. He came in the last friendly game where he played 45 minutes in the second half, he scored three times. He was ready,” Zinnbauer told the media in a virtual press conference.
“I felt it in training this week, I felt it in the friendly game last week. I was 100 percent sure that when we brought him in, and he got one opportunity and he scored. That’s the reason he came in and I’m very happy about it,” Zinnbauer told the media.
There had been talk in the fraternity that Mabasa could be one of the players to be sent out on loan by Pirates this season; however, his cameo performance on Saturday evening could go a long way in restoring the trust of his coach, who had largely overlooked the striker this campaign.
Pirates next turn their focus to high-flying Baroka FC, who they take on at the Orlando Stadium on Wednesday.
Click through the gallery for images from Pirates' win over SuperSport on Saturday.