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HomeBafana BafanaMorena Defends Booed Mabasa, Explains His Substitution

Morena Defends Booed Mabasa, Explains His Substitution

Bafana Bafana COSAFA Cup coach Morena Ramorebodi has defended much-maligned striker Tshegofatso Mabasa, who was booed by fans against Botswana after missing a great chance in Group A match at the King Zwelithini Stadium on Saturday.  

Mabasa, who was loaned from Orlando Pirates to Sekhukhune United last season, did not have the greatest game and scuffed a few chances.  

He was presented with a great opportunity in the first half when he should have steadied himself and rolled the ball in the empty net, but rushed his effort and missed the target.

Fans went berserk, demanding him to be taken off immediately, which visibly took a huge knock to the former Bloemfontein Celtic striker, whose confidence seems dented at the moment.

But Ramorebodi defended Mabasa over the fans’ reaction, saying it shouldn’t knock him down because if he scores the next game, fans will be supporting him.

“Supporters in South Africa, when you do well, they support and they love you,” said Ramorebodi.

“When you make a mistake, they tend to lose patience and start booing you, it is expected.

“But as a player, when things like this happen, it is where you say, before this tournament, ‘I was this good and the 45 minutes can’t make me a bad player’.”

As Mabasa struggled to find his footing, coach Ramorebodi decided to take him off, replacing him with Victor Letsoalo, who was brought down ahead of the equaliser scored from the subsequent penalty by Iqraam Rayners.

Ramoreboli, though, insisted he didn’t take Mabasa off because of the booing but because he needed to change things up to disrupt the Botswana defence.

“The reasons for substituting Tshego might be different from what people saw and the reason for playing him might be different from what people think,” added Ramorebodi.

“When we played Tshego, we needed someone that could hold the ball. But when we started to be desperate, that is when I said we no longer need someone that can hold because it makes their line stronger, we need to penetrate and provoke that line more.

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“For us to do that, we needed someone that can run.”  

Mabasa, who joined Pirates ahead of the 2019/20 season from now defunct Celtic, seems close to a loan move to Swallows FC, where he will be coached by Steve Komphela, who worked with him at Celtic in the 2018/19 season.

That will help his confidence, as in that spell, despite Komphela not being long at the club, Mabasa enjoyed his best season in the PSL, scoring nine goals in 23 league matches.   

Robin-Duke Madlala
Robin-Duke Madlala
Robin-Duke Madlala is iDiski Times' KwaZulu-Natal-based web journalist. Boasting extensive experience in the South African football landscape, Robin-Duke has previously worked for Kick-Off Magazine, Soccer Laduma, and Daily Sun and Sunday Sun. He specialises in breaking news and transfers around South Africa’s big clubs in KZN.