Ryan over the moon af­ter scor­ing on Bafana de­but

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - MO­HAU RAMASHIDJA

JUST a day be­fore mak­ing his Bafana Bafana de­but against Botswana this past week­end, Ryan Moon spoke about how won­der­ful it would be for him to be se­lected in the start­ing line-up, and also score in his first match for the se­nior na­tional team.

All that was noth­ing but a wish for the 20-year-old from Pi­eter­mar­itzburg. The Kaizer Chiefs’ cen­tre-for­ward did not re­ally ex­pect that Stu­art Bax­ter would give him the nod to start ahead of the other strik­ers in the squad. As for him scor­ing, well Moon only dreamt.

In­cred­i­bly, that was how it turned out, Moon finding the op­po­si­tion net just 28 min­utes af­ter hav­ing sung the na­tional an­them for the first time in Bafana Bafana colours.

That goal pro­pelled Bafana to push for a sec­ond and that goal duly came via Gift Motupa on 72 minute for a 2-0 sec­ond round, first leg African Na­tions Cham­pi­onship (Chan) qual­i­fier win in Botswana.

How­ever, that game was not tele­vised. And that meant Ryan’s older brother Bryce, his par­ents and other sib­lings didn’t get to see their loved one get onto a list of great for­mer Bafana play­ers such as the late John ‘Shoes’ Moshoeu, Ru­dolph Seale, Doc­tor Khu­malo, Jabu Mahlangu and Katlego Mphela - to men­tion but a few who also scored on their se­nior na­tional team de­buts.

The Moon fam­ily had to fol­low that match on­line.

Asked how he felt about scor­ing on de­but, a clearly elated Moon said: “It feel so great,” he gushed “I’m still happy.

“It’s true when they say that dreams do ac­tu­ally come true. We (him and team­mates) spoke about the pos­si­bil­ity (of him start­ing) just be­fore the game. And it hap­pened.

“My phone was abuzz with mes­sages by the time I got to the ho­tel. All of my friends and fam­ily were busy send­ing me con­grat­u­la­tory mes­sages af­ter what I was able to achieve on my de­but.

“The first peo­ple I called were my par­ents,” Moon adds. “Both mom and dad put me on loud­speaker so that I could speak to the rest of the fam­ily. They were all ex­cited for me. My dad said he al­most got a heart at­tack be­cause the game was not tele­vised and they had to fol­low it on­line.

“When they saw that Bafana had scored, they were left anx­ious as they waited to find out who was the scorer. My brother was the first one to pick it up it was me and the rest of the (fam­ily) were su­per ex­cited for me.”

Bafana will lock horns with Botswana in the sec­ond leg this week­end at Moru­leng Sta­dium in Rusten­burg and Moon said he was al­ready an­tic­i­pat­ing a very dif­fi­cult bat­tle against the Ze­bras as they fight for a place in the third and fi­nal round of the com­pe­ti­tion qual­i­fiers.

“The sec­ond leg is go­ing to be just as dif­fi­cult as the first leg was for us,” Moon says. “And that’s be­cause with in­ter­na­tional matches any­thing can hap­pen be­cause ev­ery­body is fight­ing for re­sults.

“We just have to go out there with the men­tal­ity that we are start­ing a new game with the score­line at 0-0. That will help us to play to win our game in or­der for us to go through to the next round.

“We can­not give them room to sniff around and let them push for a win.”

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