Bafana coach Ntseki says watching Tau torment Real Madrid was a proud moment
Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki says watching Percy Tau mesmerise Real Madrid at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium was a proud moment for South Africans.
Tau produced a sparkling display for heavy underdogs Club Brugge as the Belgium side drew 2-2 with the Spanish giants to win a precious away point in the tense Uefa Champions League group match.
Tau‚ who was not overawed by the occasion‚ held his own and was a constant irritation for the Madrid central defensive pairing of Sergio Ramos and Raphaël Varane‚ ending his shift with an assist for their first goal.
“Seeing Percy playing in the Uefa Champions League at the Santiago Bernabéu‚ was a proud moment for the country‚” said Ntseki.
“He has always wanted to play in the Champions League and that tells you a lot about his mentality and how he sees himself in the football space.
"They had a very good run in the preliminaries to qualify for the group stages and that gave the team‚ and him‚ the confidence to say 'whoever we come across in the group stages we will be able to perform'.”
Ntseki said he was highly impressed with Tau’s tactical discipline as he had synergy with fellow attackers Krepin Diatta and two-goal hero Emmanuel Dennis against one of the biggest clubs in the world.
“Their coach had a very good plan where Percy was played as a forward in their 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 system depending on the situation of the game‚" he said.
"I think he conducted himself very well.
"We all know that if you give him space behind the offensive line he is dangerous with calculated runs and timing.
“When you look at the first goal‚ it was a typical Percy run behind the defence.
"Ramos tried to play offside but the timing and quality of the pass was good.
"He is not selfish.
"He saw that there was an opportunity for his partner and he played a very good pass to him and it was a goal.
“If you look at the second goal‚ he was also there to support his striking partner.
"You can see the quality in him but all that is important is the attitude to win and be a team player.
"I was very impressed seeing him conduct himself the way he did and I was actually saying to myself while watching the match that we normally say Tau played against the best and we don’t say the best played against Tau - he is also the best.
“He was leading in the pressure and his attitude was good and his mentality going into that game was spot-on.
"When they lost the ball you could see that they did everything as team where everyone knew what they were doing and how to execute the plan.”