Lepasa's star shines brighter after final

Zakhele Lepasa of TS Galaxy during the TS Galaxy media open day at Panorama Sports Club on April 16, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Zakhele Lepasa of TS Galaxy during the TS Galaxy media open day at Panorama Sports Club on April 16, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

Zakhele Lepasa has not allowed his new-found fame to go to his head. Last week, Lepasa hogged national headlines after his TS Galaxy won the Nedbank Cup.

It was Lepasa's 90th-minute penalty that sealed the deal and secured the upset over Kaizer Chiefs in Durban.

Now the 22-year-old's celebrity has shot through the roof after showing nerves of steel to thrust a dagger into Amakhosi hearts.

"The response from the public has been incredible since the final. People recognise me much more now after that match," Lepasa said.

"Obviously the whole country was watching, so a whole lot more people know our [Galaxy players] faces now. For me it's only the beginning though; I have to keep grounded and work hard.

"I am still in the early stages of my career and I cannot afford to act like I have arrived."

The ex-Orlando Pirates striker spent the first half of the previous season on loan at Stellenbosch FC. He moved to TS Galaxy in January.

What many people will not know is that Galaxy fans have former Chiefs winger Thuso Phala to partly thank for bringing Lepasa to the Mpumalanga club.

"Thuso saw me playing at a local tournament in Soweto last year and he is the one who recommended me to the owner Tim Sukazi. So in January I was not happy that I was not getting game time at Stellenbosch." The Dobsonville-born marksman is the middle child and has two sisters.

He is a die-hard Liverpool supporter and will certainly be rooting for The Reds in Uefa Champions League final against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.

"I'll be supporting Liverpool all the way and I am confident that we will win the cup next week in the final," he said.

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