31 December 2018
Tembisa, South Africa
It has been a torrid month for me as manager. We did really well at the club world cup, but could not get over the finish line ahead in the Telkom Knockout Cup. I should be happy but feel a little deflated if truth be told.
Blow by Blow
Telkom Knockout Semifinal
First game back after the Champions League final is another semifinal against our old foe Kaizer Chiefs. Nothing like keeping the intensity levels up.
Radzi is still away on international duty, so we field Lavet in his place and Majola leading the line. Asante gets the start ahead of Lubasa.
Penalties have been predicted and I can see his point. I doubt there will be more than a goal seperating the sides at the end.
Majola bags an early goal and that is all that seperates the sides at the break. The second half was also tight and it was only the post that stopped Kaizer Chiefs scoring late. The goal never came for them, and we get through with the narrowest of wins.
No prisoners were taken in this match! A whopping 36 fouls were committed by both sides.
Match 9/30 – ABSA Premiership
Back into the grind of the league. It can’t be said to be a grind really as we have played 8 league games out of 23 games played this season.
Both fullbacks are suspended so they are “rested”. Other than that there are a few rotation decisions made to rest players.
Black Leopards are in 7th having played three more games than we have. We are strong favourites in this game.
Ngobeni was dominant in the first half picking up two goals and many chances. He runs different lines than Lavet and has been a handful today.
Ngobeni was the stand out player today. We made a mess of their fullbacks today.
The big improvement to the tactic has been adding Drill Crosses and Look For Overlap. The Look For Overlap instruction seems to make the the fullbacks push on. First thing I do to defend a lead is to drop this shout and adjust a couple of player roles.
Match 10/30 – ABSA Premiership
FS Stars and their 3-5-2 are next up. We still owe them after they knocked out of second last season.
Picked the Eleven fittest players in their best positions. Nothing scientific about things today,
We have been picked as hot favourites here. I am not buying the myth, due to past experiences.
In the end we were on top for most of the match. An early goal helped settle the game down and from there we dominated the match.
Match 11/30 – ABSA Premiership
Sundowns are currently sitting in 4th place. They look vulnerable before and after half time, so I may seek to exploit this.
Rotation is a big factor again. The side we are putting out is nowhere near our best side, however I am confident they can do the job. Mangena is being handed his first start for the club tonight.
Very tight according to the book makers. I am hoping for the best but expecting the worst.
It was dull first half where there was one shot each side. We took the lead just after half time from a free kick. However just as I was contemplating closing the game down we conceeded. Both teams had chances to take three points, but neither could manage it.
Our shooting was awful tonight, and despite creating a raft of opportunities, we only put one on target.
Bad timing only a week out from the World Club Championships. I am gutted for the lad as he would have been starting every game.
FIFA World Club Cup Quarter Final
This is a whole new level of competition for me and the boys. By far the toughest game of the season!
Close to a full strength side fielded. Radzi will be big miss for us.
The odds have shortened, and I am feeling confident. We have nothing to lose here.
What can you say about that? Amazing turn around. Suwon were the stronger team in many aspects, but we took our chances and won a great victory. A wonderful birthday present from the lads!
A near run thing. They created more chances, but we took ours better!
FIFA World Club Cup Semifinal
The enormity of the task ahead begins to dawn on me. We are going to give them hell!
A few changes to the starting lineup with Ali in, Lavert shuffling up front and Ngobeni to the bench. Makaringe in for Zech.
Always a tough ask for the boys. Still you play the games because upsets can happen!
At 1-0 up we dared to dream! In the end we didn’t convert our chances while they did. Still only going down 2-1 is a win in my eyes! The boys performed magnificently today. I can’t fault their efforts.
We held our own today. If I was to level one criticism it is that we didn’t give their keeper enough to do.
Tseka is out for another 6 weeks with a twisted ankle, unfortunately for us.
FIFA World Club Cup Third Place Play-off
We get to face Uruguan side Penarol in the third placed play-off. This is a match that we would love to win.
I have to be mindful that we have a Cup Final 4 days after this match so the selection changes reflect this fact. Still we have enough quality to play well as long as we are on our game.
We have been flagged as favourites for this match. I feel that it is closer than that and we will have to play well to win.
In a near run game it is often the small things that determine success. This proved to be the case in this match as Penarol were much better at getting their shots on target. I am proud of the effort, sadly it was not to be today.
Pleasing to see Lavet was the top goal scorer.
To lose Lavet four days before the cup final is annoying. He will be missed as he was just starting to find a good patch of form.
Telkom Knockout Final
This is the match I really want to win. The one domestic cup which has eluded my grasp, and which would complete the set.
We field the strongest side we can, however we are short four players who would be on the park if fit or available in the case of Radzi.
We have been made favourites in the is game. SuperSport and Cosmos have had some tough battles over the last few seasons.
All I can say is Borax! Borax! Borax! Borax!!! This was our game to win, but we just couldn’t get over the line. We missed a penalty, they missed a penalty. Our miss bounced out. Their miss bounced back to the striker off the post. It just wasn’t our night.
Four wins, a draw and three losses. We can’t fault the loss to Althetico Madrid or Penarol as the former was beyond our stature, while the latter was an even contest. The loss to SuperSport was a big disappointment, more the manner of it than anything.
Second with plenty of games to play. Not even focusing on the big picture yet.
First game up is against Kaizer Chiefs will be a tough test for us. Of course the actual fixture list will vary depending continental and cup commitments.