Johannesburg - Seven-year-old sports fanatic Ayo Dosumu didn’t allow his country’s 5-0 loss to Brazil get him down.
Instead, he made history by becoming the world’s youngest pitch invader as he bull-headedly stormed onto the field at the FNB Stadium on Wednesday.
Ayo ran towards the celebrating Brazilian team after their win, but was accosted by security guards, who tried to intercept him.
But Ayo had already stolen the hearts of the 50 000 fans in the stadium, who started booing the guards.
Brazilian soccer star Neymar turned and raced towards Ayo, snatching him out of the grip of a guard and picking him up.
The 22-year-old was still rejoicing from scoring the second hat trick of his career.
Neymar posed for pictures with Ayo and later uploaded them onto his Instagram account, saying: “There is nothing better than the smile of a child.”
In an interview with Brazilian sporting website Globoesporte.com after the game, Ayo said: “I felt very happy!”
His father Shola said people were lining up to get a picture with the boy after the match.
“My son is now an idol. “I did not even realise he had run onto the field when it all happened. Then I had to go and get him… It was a great thrill.”
While Ayo was hoisted into the air by the Brazilian players, his father was held back by guards, who were trying to stop the rush of invaders.
It all ended well for Ayo’s father (who is a huge Chelsea fan) when his hero, David Luiz, told the guards to let him through.
Shola said his son was the biggest football fan in the world and loved Neymar.
“Hopefully one day my son will play for Bafana Bafana!” said Shola.
Twitter exploded with love for Ayo and praise for Neymar.
Sergio Loa wrote: “A little kid ran onto the field. Instead of escorting him off, Neymar grabbed him and celebrated his goal! #respect.”
Galaletsang Kgoathe tweeted: “So this little kid runs onto the field and as security tries to pull him away, Neymar comes to his rescue. #Class.”
Connor McSpirit said: “I envy that little kid who ran onto the field then was allowed to meet the Brazilian team #wow.”
And Tony Evans said: “I hope Brazil win World Cup after way they treated kid.”