Eric Mathoho helped Kaizer Chiefs claim bragging rights over archrivals Orlando Pirates and will now set his sights on conquering Brazil.
The centreback put in a commanding defensive display for Amakhosi and scored the opener in their 2-0 victory in the Carling Black Label Cup at Soccer City on Saturday.
As one of two over-age players in the U23 group, alongside Chiefs backline colleague Itumeleng Khune, Mathoho looked solid against Bucs’ attack and alert to bundle home his team’s first goal.
After the hour mark with both sides looking to stamp their authority on the match, Mathoho proved the difference.
After Bernard Parker’s tenacious run at goal, the striker unleashead a powerful shot that rattled the crossbar.
And Mathoho was on hand to score from the rebound.
Then with 10 minutes to go, Khune and Mathoho showed their class to keep Pirates at bay – first Khune stretched to block Riyaad Norodien’s cross-cum-shot from the right, and then Mathoho cleared Bernard Morrison’s follow-up off the line.
But in the fifth minute of injury time, Chiefs finished things off in style as an inch-perfect ball was whipped in from the right by William Twala and new Zambian striker Lewis Macha slotted home to secure victory for Amakhosi.