CAPE TOWN – Ayanda Patosi inspired a Cape Town City turnaround in a 2-2 draw with Orlando Pirates at the Orlando Stadium on Wednesday night. Down 2-0, the 25-year-old from Khayelitsha produced two wonderful strikes to draw the Citizens level.
Patosi returned from a six-year spell in Belgium last year, but fitness issues have been a concern. This season, though, Patosi has been brilliant for City.
City assistant-coach Vasili Manousakis was all praise for the player nicknamed “Pato”.
“With Pato, it’s a fitness issue,” said Manousakis. “But he has worked very hard this season. This week alone, he dropped two kilograms and he’s also lost two percent body fat. As a player, if you want to go full tilt, you have to be mobile. Pato may not be the quickest, but he is deadly.
He always offers you something and he also gives us situations with dead balls: his delivery is unbelievable, probably the best in the PSL. We are on his case all the time because he is the best number 10 in the league - but you want him to be in top condition.”
Manousakis was in charge because head coach Benni McCarthy was at his wife’s side in hospital after she underwent a lung operation. The assistant coach revealed, though, what McCarthy’s instructions were.
“There was no communication from Benni when we were 2-0 down at half-time,” said Manousakis. “But Benni’s message before the game was clear: fortune favours the brave. Be brave - and it summed up his (Benni) family situation with his wife and his second family, City. And, at half-time, the boys said, let’s go and do this for the coach.”
But City were fortunate to go into the break 2-0 down.
“We were against the ropes in the first half,” said Manousakis. “We conceded two goals, but to be fair to Pirates they had an unbelievable amount of chances in the first half.
“We changed a few things in the second half. The most important change was to press Pirates higher. We got the wingers, Riyaad Norodien and Gift Links, to go higher, and everybody stepped up higher. So credit to the guys, and to Pato, for a fantastic second half.”