Rusike had not enjoyed much game time at the defending Absa PSL champions since he joined them from First Division side, Jomo Cosmos last season, but the club’s participation in the CAF Champions League has given him a new lease on life.
Having impressed in two matches against Mozambique’s Liga Muculmana, where Baxter used mostly fringe players in both legs, Rusike was thrown in the deep end among the club’s regulars.
He replaced countryman, Kingston Nkhatha with 17 minutes to the end of the game and scored a goal as the Amakhosi coursed to a convincing 4-0 first leg win over the Mozambican side left at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday and the 23-year-old sent a powerful drive into the back of the net from just outside the box in the 80th minute.
It was a confident, composed finish from the Harare-born attacker, who showed quickness of foot and excellent technique to drive the ball into the bottom-left corner of the net. That impressed the British-born coach.
“I’m always happy when anybody in the team finds the net, but Matthew is a good lad and he has improved a lot over the last year or so,” said Baxter.
“He has done immensely well. He comes to training with a great attitude and he never complains. He is a good team-mate to other lads as well even while on the bench. He does sit on the stands, but he never loses what we want from him and I don’t get any downbeat vibes out of that from him.”
Baxter said he also liked the Zimbabwean’s new composed play.
“When he goes on the field, he is wee bit calmer than he was before. I think when he came on before, he was very stressed and hectic. He didn’t really think about his role, but when we get him into that position of scoring chances, he is a good finisher.”Post published in: Football