The rebirth of Patosi bodes well for Cape Town City
Ayanda Patosi has been a stand-out performer for Cape Town City this season and will take that excellent form into Saturday's MTN8 final against SuperSport United at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.
City lost to SuperSport in the final of the same competition last season, but in a campaign where Patosi has targeted two pieces of silverware for the club, revenge is very much on their minds.
Patosi has been something of an enigma in South African football since he matured from the ASD Academy in Cape Town to win a contract as a teenager with Belgian side Lokeren.
He made an immediate impact and was heralded as a great talent for the future, but was later criticised for a lack of off-field dedication to the life of a professional footballer.
It scuppered moves to bigger clubs in bigger leagues, with Patosi eventually moving back to South Africa at the start of last season to try to reignite his career.
Even that has proven a long road, but this campaign he has been back to his best, as evidenced by his two fantastic goals in last week's 2-2 draw with Orlando Pirates, where City came from two goals down away from home to snatch a point.
The first goal saw him chest down a high ball on the edge of the box and volley home, while the second was from a free-kick that had enough zip and pace to beat Siyabonga Mpontshane in the Pirates goal.
Add to that Patosi's expert delivery from set-pieces, surely the best in the Premier Soccer League, and he is starting to look like the complete package again.
"It gave me some confidence [to score twice] to go to the final, and for the players to come from two goals down was a great achievement," Patosi told KweséESPN.
"It gives us confidence, builds the spirit and helps the atmosphere in the dressing room. It is a big difference from when we lost 4-1 to Kaizer Chiefs [earlier in September], at least we now feel ready for the final."
Patosi was part of the side that lost on penalties to SuperSport last season, missing out on the R8-million first prize and a second trophy in as many years for the fledgling club, who won the Telkom Knockout in their maiden season in 2016.
The disappointment of defeat was hard to take then and Patosi is determined that there will be no repeat.
"The feeling of revenge will always be there and the only way to heal that is to bring the cup to Cape Town. We can't allow SuperSport to win the cup twice. I am one 100 percent sure, no, 150 percent sure, that the cup will come back with us to Cape Town," he said.
Both City and SuperSport are teams who like to attack and will likely play their natural games on Saturday, with neither side really suited to sitting back on defence. They are at their best when going forward.
That will make Patosi an important figure for the Mother City club, who are also confident that should the game go to penalties, they will have the ammunition to overcome the odds, as they did against Mamelodi Sundowns in their semifinal tie.
City scored all their penalties on that occasion, while their Dutch goalkeeper Peter Leeuwenburgh saved twice in the shootout.
"We hope to win it in the 90 minutes, but if it goes to penalties then we have trust in the guys that they can score from the spot," Patosi said.
"We saw that against Mamelodi Sundowns when we played in the semifinals, we scored them all, our goalkeeper made the saves. We have trust in ourselves, even if it means taking it to penalties to win the game there."
Patosi twice won the Belgian Cup with former side Lokeren and so knows the feeling of lifting a trophy.
"It is the best feeling for everybody to win a trophy. It is hard to even explain the feeling ... I won it [the Belgian Cup] twice, I have yet to win anything here [in South Africa]. I really want to win a cup with Cape Town City."
If they do so, City will be halfway to achieving one of Patosi's aims this campaign.
"I did an interview at the start of the season where I was asked how many cups I want to win, and I said two. If we win this one, we will be going for another one. We all just need to work hard and we will bring that trophy to Cape Town."