Ayanda Patosi made it abundantly clear that he had returned to South Africa to revive a career that had stalled in Belgium.
On Wednesday night, in Cape Town City’s 3-1 win over Platinum Stars at the Cape Town Stadium, the kid from Khayelitsha gave notice of his ambition with a lively, influential performance. And he crowned it with a superb goal as well.
The victory ensures that City and new coach Benni McCarthy make it three wins on the trot during this early stage of the PSL season.
McCarthy selected a team with one eye on Sunday’s MTN8 semi-final against Wits – and he tweaked the starting team quite considerably, making six changes to the team that defeated the Clever Boys in Johannesburg in the league last week.
The former Bafana Bafana striker gave opportunities to defenders Taariq Fielies, Vincent Kobola and Ebrahim Seedat, winger Lyle Lakay and attackers Patosi and Letsie Koapeng.
The rain pelted down for the opening 20 minutes of the first half, making conditions really difficult. Both teams struggled to get going, with possession regularly turned over.
City, though, had the better chances during this period, with Patosi whipping a free kick that skimmed the crossbar and, soon after, heading an attempt wide.
With the rain easing, it was again Patosi who made the run and pass that freed Lebogang Manyama into the penalty area, and the City captain was brought down by Platinum goalkeeper Mbongeni Mzimela.
Koapeng stepped up to easily convert the spot-kick and give City the lead.
The setback, though, served only to galvanise the team from Rustenburg and they proceeded to dominate possession and territory for the rest of the half, with the Capetonians looking to steal something on the counter.
McCarthy then erred on the side of caution with Manyama at the start of the second half.
The skipper had taken a slight knock in the first half and, with the important semi-final tie against Wits on the horizon, the coach took the decision to give Manyama a break, and he was replaced by Sibusiso Masina.
Platinum tried to make things happen in the second period, but a moment of individual brilliance from Patosi then put paid to their resistance. The former Lokeren man twisted and turned his way beyond a few defenders to create the space to drive a shot into the top corner.
Soon after, veteran Teko Modise came on to make his debut for City, and he made an immediate impact. Lakay scampered through on goal, pulled the ball back and Modise was able to tap into an empty net.
Platinum managed a consolation goal a few minutes before the close when Robert Ng’ambi headed in.
A great win for the Capetonians, nevertheless, as it proved that they have strength in depth.
And the convincing result was even more joyous for birthday boy Robyn Johannes, who had another solid outing in central defence.