Ayanda Patosi must think he has been blessed with magic feet. Why else can it be that the Cape Town City schemer never seems to score a bad or boring goal?
When the 25-year-old from Khayelitsha scores for the Citizens, it’s always memorable: a cracking volley, a sublime free-kick or a long-range stunner.
Somehow or other, since his return from a six-year spell playing in Belgium, Patosi has bulged the net with some really smart goals.
When City tackle SuperSport United in the MTN8 final in Durban today (7pm), Patosi is not only hoping to maintain the magnificent vein of form he has currently hit, but also to continue his reputation for the spectacular.
Asked about his penchant for scoring such eye-catching goals, Patosi admitted he had no idea why.
“It’s nice that I get to score, but it just happens that way, I guess,” he said.
“I’ve been waiting for the goals to come. I’ve been working hard and I’ve been playing well, but not scoring. I got two against Pirates and, hopefully, the goals will come more consistently now.”
Last week, when City went 2-0 down against Pirates in Soweto, it was Patosi who inspired the 2-2 comeback result.
First, he hoofed a wonderful left-foot volley into the top corner and, soon after, he curled in a delightful free-kick into the net too.
But it wasn’t just his goals, it was his all-round performance that will have City rather pleased.
Over the years, Patosi has had his issues, especially with weight and discipline. Last season, both head coach Benni McCarthy and club boss John Comitis were vocal in their disappointment with Patosi.
This season, though, Patosi has put it all behind, focused on staying in shape and on working hard to get back to top form – and it has shown in his improved performances.
We are ready for the final,” said Patosi.
“The atmosphere at training, and at the club this week, has been good. The fightback against Pirates last week was great motivation ahead of the final.
“I’m playing more regularly and that has helped. With more games, you gain momentum and then the goals start coming. I’ve been working with the coach on improving things in my game. I’m happy, the coaches are happy and it’s looking good.
“We need the same performance as we displayed in the second half against Pirates. If we work hard as a team, things will happen. And if we do that, then we can bring the cup back to Cape Town.”
This year’s MTN8 final between City and SuperSport is a repeat of last season’s, when the Pretoria side emerged victorious on penalties.
This time, City are ready and, even if it goes to penalties again, the Cape side are not too concerned. They are better prepared for spot-kicks.
From Khayelitsha, Patosi understands how important City’s participation in the final is for the city, and for the many young footballers in every nook and cranny of the talent-laden Cape region.
Because of this, he and his City teammates are determined to win this trophy and, in the process, inspire the next generation.
“This is a must-win final for the city and for the club,” said Patosi.
“We lost it last year and we want to win it this time. We will push hard for the win, we will be ready.
“The victory will mean a lot for the people of Cape Town, and for the boys in the townships as it will be an example that they can also achieve.
“For us, we hope to win it inside 90 minutes, but even if we are forced to go to penalties again I have trust in the guys that we can convert.
“In the semi-finals, against Mamelodi Sundowns, we scored all our kicks and our two goalkeepers (Peter Leeuwenburgh and Sage Stephens) are both good at saving penalties.
“So, even if it is to be decided on penalties, I think we can still win the game.”