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Mofokeng: I Feel Like A Hero

  • June 2, 2024
  • 2 min read
Mofokeng: I Feel Like A Hero

Orlando Pirates’ unlikely hero, Relebohile Mofokeng, dismissed the significance of age after his spectacular performance in the Nedbank Cup final against Mamelodi Sundowns at Mbombela Stadium on Saturday.

The 19-year-old stole the show with a breathtaking nutmeg on seasoned midfielder Bongani Zungu, ultimately leading Pirates to victory.

In the dying moments of the match at a packed Mbombela Stadium, Mofokeng displayed nerves of steel. With the score tied 1-1, he skillfully rolled the ball in between Zungu’s legs in the 94th minute, before calmly slotting the ball past Bafana Bafana captain Ronwen Williams. This moment of brilliance sent his teammates into a frenzy, securing the trophy for Pirates.

Legendary South African footballer Teko Modise, present at the game, expressed his desire to see a “game-changer” emerge. Mofokeng’s late heroics perfectly embodied that definition.

“Age is just a number,” declared Mofokeng in a mixed zone interview. “What matters most is how you perform and compete. I just want to compete; forget about my age, forget about those things.”

Pirates coach Jose Riveiro brought Mofokeng on as a substitute in the 71st minute, seeking a tactical shift to overturn a one-goal deficit after Themba Zwane’s strike for Sundowns in the 54th minute. The momentum shifted when Mofokeng entered the fray alongside Kabelo Dlamini. Shortly before his introduction, a penalty was awarded to Pirates after Patrick Maswanganyi was brought down in the box. Maswanganyi himself converted the penalty, drawing Pirates level.

Mofokeng described the experience as a dream come true. “It was a fantastic goal,” he beamed. “I’ve been dreaming of scoring a goal like that. I feel like a hero, someone who helped the team. The club needed someone to change the game, and I’m happy I could do that.”

Elaborating on the nutmeg, Mofokeng admitted a touch of luck was involved. “There was a bit of luck involved, that wasn’t exactly the plan,” he confessed to Sportswire. “But God was on my side, and I’m grateful for that. At the end of the day, a goal is a goal.”

Mofokeng’s performance serves as a reminder that age is indeed just a number. With talent, determination, and a sprinkle of luck, even young players can become game-changers and etch their names in cup final history.

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Robin-Duke Madlala

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