Platinum Stars forward Mogakolodi ‘Tsotso’ Ngele’s cup winning performance against Orlando Pirates could send a message to the club’s coach who has used the player sparingly in big matches. The Zebras star has surely made a case to be a regular starter in decisive games by guiding Stars to a Telkom Knockout Cup victory this past weekend.
In the past two cup finals against Pirates, Ngele has been used as a second half substitute despite his heroics in previous rounds of the two cup competitions. In the MTN 8 Cup final he was introduced as a 74th minute substitute and made a crucial contribution by converting a penalty during the post match shootout.
This past weekend he was a 66th minute substitute and helped sway the match in Platinum Stars’ favour by adding an attacking dimension to the game. He entered the pitch with his side trailing by a goal to nil and scored two goals in the last 12 minutes of the game to clinch the Telkom Cup for his side.
Fellow forward Robert Ng’ambi has been Allan Freese’s first choice forward in the role behind the striker, a role that Ngele is accustomed to playing. Before the game, Ng’ambi was the club’s top scorer with seven goals in all competitions but Tsotso eclipsed him by scoring a brace to take his goal tally to eight so far this term.
The implications of Ngele’s brace
The 22- year- old has been constantly linked with a move to Pirates since last season and his goals against the former Premier Soccer League (PSL) champions could soon generate more transfer rumours. The Buccaneers are in need of a goal scoring attacking midfielder who can help reduce the goal scoring burden on Luyanda Bacela.
Pirates are armed with talented central midfielders such as Andile Jali, Oupa Manyisa and Lehlogonolo Masalesa but none of them offers any attacking threat. None of the club’s midfielders has been prolific this season and this would surely fuel more speculation of Pirates making a move for Ngele.
Saturday’s defeat will also mount pressure on Pirates’ coach, Roger De Sa, who has now failed to win silverware for the Soweto giants in three attempts. De Sa has lost the MTN 8 final, the CAF Champions League final and the Telkom Cup final.
Rumours have circulated that the former Bidvest Wits coach could be on the verge of losing his job following the club’s difficult start to the season.