After the match-winning penalty against Kaizer Chiefs in the Nedbank Cup final, Zakhele Lepasa took his season tally to nine goals, prompting talk of the loanee being part of the Orlando Pirates squad next season.
In the cup final this weekend, Lepasa only got 17 touches whilst on the field, but won a successful dribble as he beat Kaizer Chiefs’ Teenage Hadebe, who then brought him down. The player on loan from Bucs stepped up and converted coolly.
That goal was his fourth in this season’s Nedbank Cup, whilst he also scored five times for TS Galaxy in the National First Division after joining the club in January after an unproductive first half of the season on loan at Stellenbosch FC.
In the cup semi-final against Golden Arrows, he came on after 59 minutes and scored twice, managing five shots at goal, hitting the target three times and winning four aerial duels. He made a big impact against a tiring defence.
Lepasa had already made a name for himself in his career so far, he was the leading goalscorer at Pirates' Project X in Brazil, was Moroka Swallows' U17 leading goalscorer, the Walter Sisulu Discovery winner as well as Bucs' top goalscorer for the 2017/18 season in the SAB League Gauteng.
Lepasa joined Bucs on their pre-season tour of Zambia last season, even starting in friendly matches and doing very well. He ended the tour with two goals after appearing against Forrest FC and Gomes FC. Pirates’ frontline striker, Justin Shonga ended this season with just six PSL goals, whilst Augustine Mulenga netted twice and Thamsanqa Gabuza failed to register.
With Pirates’ strikers proving wasteful on several occasions this season, a ruthless finisher like Lepasa could be a useful option, even if it’s in the impact sub role that he played in the Nedbank Cup semi and final.
Is Lepasa ready to be a part of the Orlando Pirates first team squad? Let us know by commenting below.