Dolly dazzles Rufaro crowd

HARARE - At the end of Sunday’s match between Zimbabwe Under-23 and their South African counterparts only one question was probably on every fan’s mouth:

Who was that South African number 11?

Keagan Dolly was the player wearing that jersey and he left an indelible mark on every spectator inside Rufaro Stadium for the African Under-23 Championship match which ended 1-1.

Dolly capped a fine display as he tormented the Young Warriors defence with some silky dribbling skills.

The Mamelodi Sundowns player delivered a phenomenal display, scoring a wonderful solo effort that provided South Africa with a crucial away goal.

His goal was of sheer quality. After winning the ball inside Zimbabwe’s half, Dolly charged menacingly into the opponents’ half leaving left back Pritchard Mpelele for dead before beating Tatenda Mukuruva at the near post.

Dolly was simply unplayable as he made the Young Warriors defenders look ordinary and it is the reason why he is highly rated by his coach Owen da Gama.

“Keagan Dolly is unbelievable,” Da Gama said. “He was running rings round people and I think the boy has high places to go in football, he will definitely go places.

“I told him that if you can play at Rufaro Stadium, you can play anywhere in the world because this is a tough stadium to come and win.”

Dolly was voted the 2013/14 Absa Premiership Young Player of the Season.

The 21-year-old playmaker told the Daily News that he was happy with his performance and now looks forward to finishing off Zimbabwe in the second leg at home in a fortnight.

“Well, I really expected a good game from Zimbabwe and I think it was hard but we were better,” he said.

“We should have sealed it in the first half. I am happy with the boys’ performance. We now focus on the next game.

“I think my second half was better than the first. I was trying to get used to the pitch and my opponents but when I started getting into the game it made my second half better and I even got to score.

“As for the goal, I saw the opportunity and space in the box. The goalkeeper came up and I put the goal in the corner (near post).

“We wanted to win but they got an equaliser and it’s part of football. Now we focus on the home leg. They were slower than us and we showed more pace and it worked for us.

“I play with Kuda (Mahachi) at Sundowns and I was afraid of him because I know what he can do. But he went off in the second half and that was a bonus for us.”

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