Only the most rabidly partisan Mamelodi Sundowns fans were expecting their team to triumph in their match against Spanish giants FC Barcelona on Wednesday night — and those die-hard fans would have been disappointed.
As expected, the La Liga champions beat the PSL champions in their international friendly as part of the Nelson Mandela centenary celebrations, but it wasn't the complete drubbing some predicted — Barca won 3-1.
But it was Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Sibusiso Vilakazi who was South Africa's hero on the night — he scored the only Sundowns goal of the match.
— DiskiStyle (@DiskiStyle) May 16, 2018
"It felt really good [scoring], because we felt we could come back and score another one, and we created that hope for the fans and made it very exciting towards the end," Vilakazi told HuffPost.
The footballer said he started believing he could score when his team began creating goal opportunities.
He took away some lessons about technique from the Spanish giants, such as "how they perfect their passing skills" and "the speed of the ball", among others.
He was also impressed by Barcelona's composure on the field.
"They are very composed on the ball; no panic," he said.
What you need to know about "Vila"
Vilakazi was awarded player of the season and players' player of the season for exceptional performance throughout the 2013-2014 season. He was also named the Nedbank Cup player of the tournament for that season.
He made his international debut playing away for South Africa on October 12 2013 in a 1-1 draw against Morocco at the Adrar Stadium.
During his time at Bidvest Wits, he rose to stardom quickly and was named captain of the squad.
His eye-catching displays have attracted attention from abroad in the past, earning him a trial with Danish side Brondby in March 2014.
As could be expected, fans on Twitter were full of praise for the only Sundowns player to put one in the Barca net — and quite a few had spicy chirps, too:
Every time you try to tell Vilakazi shit from now on, he'll ask you if you've ever scored against Barcelona— Bra Thanos (@Tokyo_Trev) May 16, 2018