Lebo Phiri almost gave up Bafana dream


Lebogang Phiri’s mother Tshidi Phiri says she wanted to throw herself into the Orlando Stadium pitch after her son’s stunning goal against Sudan on Sunday.

Phiri slotted home a 45th minute goal to give Bafana Bafana a much needed victory in their second 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against the Falcons of Jediane.

Although it was not a first goal for the 25-year-old in Bafana Bafana colours, it was the first goal in an official match.

Phiri’s first goal for South Africa was against Eswatini during the 2016 COSAFA Cup which took place in Namibia.

“He has always wanted to play for Bafana Bafana but he didn’t get a chance, but I told him that he must like abekezele (he should be patient) nako ya gae etla fetla (his time will come) and it’s his time now,” Tshidi Phiri told FARPost.co.za.

“He did show people that he is such a calm and humble person who can do what people expect him to do,” she continued.

“I don’t know what to say but we are all happy and I was also overwhelmed because I didn’t expect this. I thought maybe he would play maybe first 45 minutes or the last 45 minutes but that didn’t happen. The coach saw him at his team (in France) and his performances.

Mama Phiri also explained her jubilant moment when the club EA Guingamp player scored the only goal of the match in the last minute of the first half.

“Hei ke jampile, I nearly fell inside the pitch because I was very excited and I am proud of him and I am happy that he is back on his feet because he thought he would never would never play for Bafana but he did.

“So I am happy and I am happy for the team as well because without his teammates he wouldn’t have scored that goal.”

Phiri is in his third season in the French Ligue 2 after spending 5 seasons at Danish side Brøndby IF.

 By Ofhani Munyai

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