South African striker Percy Tau made his Brighton and Hove Albion debut against Newport County on Sunday night.
The 26-year-old was named in the match day squad by coach Graham Potter just four days after his return from his loan spell at Belgian giants RSC Anderlecht.
Tau’s loan was cut short by Brighton after the English Football Association changed work permit rules and restrictions following Brexit.
This gave the South African attacker a big advantage to qualify for a work permit under the new rules. After 15 games in Belgium’s top flight, the former Mamelodi Sundowns star scored four goals and laid an assist for another before Potter decided to bring him to England.
Tau started on the bench as Brighton travelled to fourth tier side Newport County in the third round of the country’s most famous club competition, the FA Cup.
Newport did not sit back and allow their Premier League opponents to win the game comfortably, in fact the first half started with the hosts taking the game to their visitors who looked sluggish and relaxed. None of the two teams could find the back of the net after the first 45 minutes of the encounter.
In the second half, the Premier League side came out with more intent as they tried to avoid going to extra-time and penalties in the tie. Potter introduced the South African with 19 minutes left on the clock and he immediately changed the game with positive inter passing with Neal Maupay and Dutchman Davy Proper. He showed glimpses of brilliance skipping past the opposition defence on a number of occasions while trying to find the opener.
Eventually Brighton scored in the 90th through Solly March, but Newport was brought back into the game by an Adam Webster own goal in additional time. The two sides could not be separated after extra-time – Brighton won 4-3 on penalties to advance to the next round.
Tau’s debut stats
Shots: 3 (1 on target)
Key passes: 2
Pass Accuracy: 90%
Number of passes: 14
Dribbles completed: 3
RELATED ARTICLE: I’m blessed to be here: Tau
By Prince Sobayeni