ONE swallow does not make a summer – or a season for that matter – but that does not seem to be the case for coach Pitso Mosimane with regard to striker Percy Tau. After the dazzling Sundowns attacker scored a blistering brace against Free State Stars in the Premiership match in Bethlehem, earning a 2-1 win, Mosimane raved about him, even tipping him for top honours this season.
What made the 22 year old’s performance eye-catching is that he was not meant to play, as Sundowns were intending to rest their international players for the CAF Champions League quarterfinal clash against Wydad Casablanca on Sunday. But Tau had to come on as a 28thminute substitute for Anthony Laffor, who had injured his ankle.
The striker partnered well with Leonardo Castro and Sibusiso Vilakazi, leading Sundowns to a much more improved performance than the one that saw them lose 2-1 to Polokwane City in the previous league match. The way Tau executed the brace was so impressive that Mosimane let out a team secret – they want Tau to finish the season as the footballer of the year. The coach also praised Vilakazi.
“We made wholesale changes. It did not give us the smooth play that we wanted,” Mosimane said. “We had to change the team because we have the CAF Champions League quarterfinal on Sunday. We rested all our internationals.
“Percy was not supposed to come on. He came on because Anton (Laffor) got injured. I am happy that he played to win, to score. Because sometimes he sits on the ball a lot and plays for fun.
“He has worked hard. He has been working on his free kicks. His second was brilliant. These are the performances we want and it is what we want for him to take to the national team.
“We have a plan that he must be the footballer of the year. I am also happy for Vilakazi, he is a silent killer.”
Though they are on a high, Sundowns are facing a headache in their Champions League match as Khama Billiat, Yannick Zakri and Laffor are out injured, with Castro still not sharp enough as he is trying to regain his fitness.
Tiyani Mabunda is also yet to feature this season, while Ricardo Nascimento is also out with an injury. Goalkeeper Denis Onyango is another set to miss out on the match, with the Ghana shot-stopper Razak Brimah set to play against Wydad after putting on a promising display against Stars on Monday night.