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Trust in striker Mudau pays off for Leopards

Forward redeems himself with hat-trick after disappointing debut

Sihle Ndebele Journalist
Papi Zothwane, coach of Uthongathi reacts during the Motsepe Foundation Championship match against Black Leopards at Princess Magogo Stadium in Durban.
Papi Zothwane, coach of Uthongathi reacts during the Motsepe Foundation Championship match against Black Leopards at Princess Magogo Stadium in Durban.
Image: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Black Leopards coach Solly Luvhengo has given himself and his assistant Papi Zothwane some credit for believing in forward Sedzani Mudau even when the chips were down.

Mudau scored a hat-trick inside the first 20 minutes of Leopards 3-1 victory over bottom-placed Platinum City Rovers at Thohoyandou Stadium at the weekend. The 21-year-old left-footed attacker, who joined Lidoda Duvha from Venda FC last month, missed several clear-cut opportunities on debut against Pretoria Callies at the same Thohoyandou Stadium last Wednesday, where Leopards ended up losing 1-0. 

Luvhengo couldn’t help it but to feel proud about how he and Zothwane stood with Mudau even when their supporters were starting to doubt him after an unconvincing display on debut. “God works in mysterious ways. We played Mudau first game when we opened against Callies and the boy got chances and he missed all of them,” Luvhengo said.

“The supporters were angry with him… they were on his case. I stood up and I told him ‘I support you, you are playing for Black Leopards and we know why we signed you’. 

"Coach Papi also had a chat with him to say, 'calm down, the goals are going to come, just be in the right areas'.

“I am happy that he was rewarded with a hat-trick which I think is the quickest hat-trick in the Motsepe Foundation Championship.”

The Leopards coach also thinks what gave Mudau an advantage is that Rovers players were too focused on Leopards usual suspects in Bethuel Muzeu and Jean-Jaures Golly.  Muzeu, who famously assisted Deon Hotto to score a goal that helped Namibia beat Tunisia at the recent Afcon, is the leading scorer in the championship with 10 goals while the bulky Ivorian Golly has been Leopards’ second choice striker behind the Namibian.

“All of Rovers players were only focusing on Muzeu and Golly and they didn’t know about Mudau and he’s the one who ended up hurting them,” said Luvhengo.

Results

Orbit 0-1 Casric; Marumo 0-2 Magesi; Leopards 3-1 Rovers; Baroka 2-1 Callies; Lions 0-1 Venda; Milford 0-0 Venda; AmaTuks 2-1 Upington; La Masia 0-0 JDR


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