Mokoena’s instant recovery pays off

Goalscorer Aaron Mokoena, second right, and provider Kanu take the congratulatory hugs
Goalscorer Aaron Mokoena, second right, and provider Kanu take the congratulatory hugs
Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain. Picture: Sarah Standing (170841-4557)

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Aaron Mokoena went from zero to hero in a blink of an eye as he played his part in clinching Pompey’s victory last night.

The South African, who replaced the injured Hayden Mullins midway through the first half, experienced a bizarre few moments 10 minutes from time in the Blues’ 2-0 win over Scunthorpe as he cracked home his second goal of the season – just seconds after a shocker of a pass.

Mokoena shanked an attempted pass to a team-mate but, as Jonathan Hogg won back possession and fed Kanu, the 30-year-old roared towards the edge of the box to crack home a deflected clincher seconds later.

The moment was not lost on Mokoena as he smiled at the ensuing shouts of ‘shoot’ from the Pompey fans whenever he was back in possession.

Mokoena smiled: ‘Those misplaced passes can happen in a game but I’ve told everyone it’s all about what you do after that.

‘I was quite lucky with that one that I managed to get on with it so quickly!

‘Yes, I had a bit of luck with the goal but it feels like we are finally getting some luck in the team at the moment.

‘We definitely deserve it after some of the luck we’ve had this season.

‘It’s not only about me but it’s the team as a whole. We are getting that little bit of luck at the moment.

‘There were some games where we were playing well and weren’t winning.

‘To be fair, it’s the luck that we are having at the moment.’

While conducting his post-match interviews, the former Blackburn man also had to answer critics from his own team-mates with playful suggestions that his effort was heading for the corner flag before it took a decisive deflection to beat Scunthorpe keeper Josh Lillis.

But Mokoena has been quick to offer a good-natured response as he fired back at his critics.

He said: ‘A few of the boys have said it was an own goal and it’s amazing that I’ve been getting stick already.

‘All I am saying to them is that I have got two goals this season and plenty of people who have been giving me stick haven’t got that many.

‘And I’ve been playing in defence for most of the season.’

There is certainly a positive spirit within the camp at the moment and Mokoena is keen to extend the winning feeling when Sheffield United visit Fratton Park this weekend.

He said: ‘We have managed to move on from the bad run we had. We have done fantastically well lately.

‘Now we’re at the moment where everything looks to have started clicking together again.

‘It feels good to get these wins back to back. It’s a great feeling.

‘The dressing room is buzzing and everyone is determined to keep it going for as long as possible.’