12 November 2017
Tembisa, South Africa
Following our great cup victory our performances have dropped away slightly, dropping two games against the Kaiser Chiefs. To be fair, Kaizer Chiefs are playing very well this season so maybe I shouldn’t be all that despondant.
Blow by Blow
Match 8/30 – ABSA Premiership
We have dealt to Kaizer Chiefs twice already this season. Of course this is no guarantee of future success.
We start off really well, and have a number of chances that we fail to take. Kaizer Chiefs put some pressure on late but we hold on. Half time comes with the game all square.
The second half is a repeat of the first where we failed to convert chances. Kaizer Chiefs press for a bit but we hold on. Finally we break as they catch onto a lose ball. Luthuli saves the first shot but can’t stop the second.
It was fitting that their keeper collected player of the match as he pulled of some spectacular saves to keep his team in the game.
Match 9/30 – ABSA Premiership
Next up comes Amazulu which is a game we should be winning. We are forced to field a heavily rotated side.
We get off to the worst posible start as we concede within the first three minutes. Nene pulls a goal back for us within a minute and I can begin to breathe easier. From the kickoff we give the ball away and they hit the bar with a good shot. Motaung is having a shocker and gets the hook on 41 mins. We scrape into half time lucky to not be 3 down.
We start better in the second half despite a lack of finese. Nene puts us in front with a well taken free kick. The game moves from end to end but quality is lacking for both teams. We do enough to win, but it wasn’t pretty.
Nene was player of the match, which was thoroughly deserved.
Telkom Knockout Cup – 1st Round
On the face of it, this should be a comfortable win for us. I have learned that there are no such things.
The game had a fairly quiet beginning. Once again our distribution was less than stellar. We were opened up once only to have the linesman help us out with an offside call. I switched up tactics after half an hour and we started to control the game. No goals though. I have not seen a team of such poor headers in my life.
The second half was not much better. While we were getting shots on target we were not creating chances. Nene came on to try to work his magic, and Ralebakeng was once again forced off with a knock. So after the 90 mins we were heading for extra time.
Nene put a shot over after a well worked move as we started looking threatening. Finaly in the 102nd minute Radzi got on the end of a good Kangila cross to break the deadlock. Lavert made it 2-0 with another nice header and it looked like we were through.
Telkom Knockout Cup – Quarter Final Draw
We draw Kaizer Chiefs in the quater final. Not the easiest draw, but not insurmountable either.
Telkom Knockout Cup – Quarter Final
They are weakest around the half, but have yet to concede a late goal, while coming on strong at the end. We need to get in front early otherwise we could struggle.
Early on we applied the pressure however we were limited to a series of long range efforts. It was all Cosmos in first half hour but once again we couldnt find a way through. Added look for overlap and exploit the flanks instructions in an effort to get down the flanks. Half-time sees the game all square.
Second half we nearly gift an early goal to them but the defence holds fast. We are taking too many long shots – 8 out of 10 so far. Nene replaces Lavet and Radzi moves up to striker. Again we give away the late goal this time due to a poorly cleared corner, and followed up by another one also off a corner to kill off our chances. To lose this game like this is a huge disappointment.
My prediction of their strong finish came home to roost as we let another game slip away.
Two good wins, and two losses to Kaiser Chiefs – not so good, not too bad.
We are comfortably sitting in third place this season with a game in hand. Realistically all we need to do is stay at this level for 4 seasons and the club should be rolling in the loot!
SuperSport United are the only “top” team in the list, although there is the potential for a team to be a banana skin in the quest for greatness. One game at a time… and I will be back in the new year with an update!