Free State Stars coach Saintfiet praises Verbauwhede display against Orlando Pirates in the Absa Premiership

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Verbauwhede, who joined Ea Lla Koto in August on loan from Mamelodi Sundowns, shone on his PSL debut ahead of Ayanda Mtshali, but was unable to keep out Daine Klate's 70th minute decider at Orlando Stadium.

Saintfiet says it is now up to his Belgian compatriot to fight hard to make the number one jersey his own in Bethlehem.

"I am happy for him and he did well against Pirates," Saintfiet tells KickOff.com.

"There is lot of talent in our goalkeeping department in Mtshali, Daouda Diakite and a very good goalkeeping trainer.

"After Diakite's injury we needed a new keeper. Verbauwhede came on board, I know him and he has a good record in Europe. He is a top keeper and has played three times for the national team.

"He had to replace Mtshali who is a top keeper and now it's up to him to show that he deserves his chance."

Fellow new signing Daouda Diakite is only expected back in a few months after seriously injuring his knee when taking a goal-kick on his Stars bow against Kaizer Chiefs on August 9.