Rantie 'makes the grass sing' in Sweden


'Tiki', as he has been nicknamed in Sweden, has got off to a flying start at his new club, scoring a hat-trick in his competitive debut for Malmo in their 6-3 win over Sandvikens IF the Swedish Cup last week.

The Bafana Bafana striker was brought on against Sundsvall in the 62nd minute yesterday, with the match tied at 0-0.

In the 87th minute Rantie stepped into the penalty area and laid the ball off to Mathias Ranegie, who held off several defenders and poked the ball to Miiko Albornoz, who made it 1-0.

Rantie cemented the result with a goal in the 89th minute.

"I could have done better," Rantie told Sydsvenskan.se after the game. "I can't wait to play the Derby against Helsingborg."

The 21-year-old is described in the Swedish press as the "game hero" who "made the grass sing", and said after the match: "I am grateful for the opportunity I had today. [Malmo manager] Rikard Norling told me to run into and express myself and my game."

Rantie was an unexpected substitute, as the fans expected Daniel Larsson to be brought on, but he proved to be the game-changer.

"[Being in the] dugout is the most important part of the game," Rantie said. "There you can analyse opponents and find their weaknesses that you can then exploit."

Rantie's form will sting for Orlando Pirates fans, who were hoping Rantie would stay at the club after his loan spell last season.

With 10 matches to play, Malmo are currently second on the Allsvenskan table, with 38 points, three points behind log leaders IF Elfsborg.

In Israel, Dino Ndlovu made his league debut for Maccabi Haifa yesterday, in a 2-1 at Maccabi Tel Aviv, while in Finland, Cheyne Fowler was missing for VPS as they won 2-1 away at Honka.

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