Johannesburg - South African youngster Thulani Serero completed a fine 12 hours for him personally as he celebrated a recall to the Bafana Bafana squad by helping Ajax Amsterdam to a famous 2-1 victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford on Thursday.
The win was not enough to see Ajax through to the Last 16 of the Uefa Europa League as they went down 3-2 on aggregate, but Serero will have been delighted with the 30 minutes of game-time he got against the English Premiership giants.
Following on from a substitute appearance for Ajax at Real Madrid in the Uefa Champions League earlier this season, the Old Trafford showing will be another big step in Serero’s football education.
He replaced Danish sensation Christian Eriksen on the hour-mark and was involved in a number of Ajax attacks, drawing fouls from the United players.
It was a 10th appearance of the season for Serero in his first campaign in Holland since a R25-million move from Ajax Cape Town at the end of last season.
His progress has been hampered by injuries as well as the poor form of the side, with coach Frank de Boer opting to use more experienced players as the pressure mounts on him.
Bur Serero will now be hoping for a run of matches to the end of the season with him likely to be given a key role by national team coach Pitso Mosimane in the 2014 Fifa World Cup qualifiers in June.