South Africa hero Thembinkosi Lorch said he is dedicating his winning goal against hosts Egypt at Cairo International Stadium on Saturday evening to his late brother who passed away in Free State last week.
Speaking at the Media Mixed Zone after South Africa stunned the Pharaohs of Egypt to book a berth in the quarterfinals against Nigeria on Wednesday, Lorch said the goal was for his late brother and close friend.
“This win means a lot especially for the country and I am also happy for my family back home. This was for my late brother who passed away in the Free State last week. I dedicate this goal for him,” he told the media.
Lorch said that when he scored, he thought maybe it was not a goal because of the silence that greeted the goal.
“When I scored, I thought it was not a goal because of the silence in the stadium. Normally when you score, people celebrate but it donned into me that I had hurt the feelings of more than 80 000 people. We had to make our fans back home proud and I am over the moon,” he said adding that he was a bit worried about his fitness and was cramping towards the end.
The midfielder-cum-striker said despite the criticism the team got in the past week, they had to soldier on and the coach really pumped us ‘telling us to be positive and encourage each other.’
He said there was little time to relish the Egypt victory as they have to turn their attention to the Nigeria game on Wednesday.
“The Nigeria game is going to be a tough game, Nigerians are big and strong but we will plan for them the way we planned against Egypt.
“Now we believe and the confidence is sky high, anything is now possible but we must keep on pushing,” he added.
Lorch said Saturday’s win was well deserved.
“Although we scored from a breakaway counter attack, we more than deserved this win as we never sat back. We pressed from the word go; in fact, it was Egypt that played long balls; we could have scored more; both Lars and Percy Tau got chances in the dying minutes and Egypt were luck to survive,” he said.