CAPE TOWN - Judas Moseamedi has turned out to be the most unlikely hero for Cape Town City over the last few weeks. The young striker from Tzaneen in the Limpopo Province scored a sensational last-gasp winner in a 3-2 win over Kaizer Chiefs two weeks ago - and, on Friday night at the Cape Town Stadium, he again rescued the Capetonians with an important strike in a 1-0 win over Free State Stars.
Tomorrow, City continue their title-charge when they are in Atteridgeville to take on SuperSport United in a PSL fixture at the Lucas Moripe Stadium (kick-off 7.30pm). Moseamedi, now in a rich vein of goal-scoring form, will, no doubt, be an integral part of coach Eric Tinkler’s plans going into what is expected to be a really tough outing.
While City’s glowing season has been built on their exceptional team ethic and unity, players like captain Lebogang Manyama and Aubrey Ngoma have often hogged the spotlight because of their fantastic individual exploits. Of late, though, Moseamedi has bull-dozed his way into the forefront of the imagination.
It has been a long, difficult journey for the 23-year-old. At Mpumalanga Black Aces (the club which morphed into City this season) and in the Cape during this campaign, Moseamedi has always been seen as an impact player. He was someone coaches looked to bring on in the latter stages of a game, during which he could then use his pace and power to unsettle tiring defenders.
Tinkler, too, used the player in this manner for much of the campaign. But, regularly during interviews, Tinkler has been honest about highly he rates the striker. The City coach has always emphasised that he needed Moseamedi to be more consistent in delivering 90-minute performances.
Against Free State Stars on Friday, Tinkler, for once, started with Moseamedi. He believed the striker was ready to produce a fully-rounded performance over the entire match. And, again, as has been the case all season, the coach’s decision was spot-on.
“Juda (Moseamedi) worked very hard (on Friday), I was happy with his performance,” said Tinkler. “We initially experimented with him playing out on the right and he did well there, causing Stars problems with his pace and aerial ability. And then, in the second half, when we needed to make the change, we moved Juda into the central striking role and it worked well. He ran his socks off and he got the winning goal.”
As Tinkler prepares his team to take on SuperSport, he’s not too concerned about the title. At this stage, he has his focus on finishing in third position on the PSL standings. To do that, he believes City have to win their remaining games - SuperSport (away), Golden Arrows (home) and Polokwane City (away).
The coach, however, knows he will have to tread carefully on Tuesday.
“I guess against SuperSport, there is a bit of history there,” said Tinkler. “We beat them in the Telkom final last year, so they will want to redeem themselves. We certainly can’t take them lightly. They (SuperSport) had aspirations to win the title early on this season, so they will still want to ensure that they finish as high as possible. They have a lot of quality and depth in their squad - but, for us, the important thing is that we just have to focus on ourselves.”
The bad news for City and Tinkler, though, is that they will have to face SuperSport without Aubrey Ngoma. The winger is suspended after picking up a fourth booking against Stars on Friday night and sits out an automatic one-match ban.