Bafana Bafana star Percy Tau started and lasted 62 minutes as Club Brugge drew 1-1 with Manchester United in a UEFA Europa League Round of 32, first leg tie at Jan Breydelstadion on Thursday.
It was a continuation of Tau’s adventure in European club competitions in which he had already came up against Real Madrid and Paris Saint Germain in the UEFA Champions League earlier in the season.
Tau returned to the Brugge starting line-up for the first time since December 22, 2019 and was rubbing shoulders against United stars including Harry Maguire, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard and Nemanja Matic.
Club Brugge almost upset the visiting former European champions with Nigerian forward Emmanuel Dennis thrusting the Belgians ahead 15 minutes into the match, before Anthony Martial hit back for United on 36 minutes.
Tau gave a good account of himself, first setting up Dennis who almost doubled Club Brugge’s advantage two minutes after scoring the opening goal.
Although his first touch appeared to let him down in the early stages of the match, Tau picked himself up and settled into the contest.
Midway through the first half, the former Mamelodi Sundowns forward even tested United goalkeeper Sergio Romero after being fed by defender Maxim De Cuyper.
However, towards the end of the first half, Tau almost gifted Manchester United a goal after he gave away possession but teenage defender Brendon Williams could not direct his attempt straight at goal.
Tau then appeared to run out of steam after the halftime break and was substituted just after the hour mark with 18-year-old midfielder Charles De Ketelaere coming on for him.
Having already graced the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium and the Parc des Princes this season, Tau now hopes to start in the second leg at Old Trafford as Brugge look to advance to the next round despite conceding at home.
By Michael Madyira