40: Telkom Knockout Slips Away Again

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

2018-0365

First game back after the Champions League final is another semifinal against our old foe Kaizer Chiefs. Nothing like keeping the intensity levels up.

2018-0366

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.

2018-0367

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.

2018-0368

 

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.

2018-0370

No prisoners were taken in this match! A whopping 36 fouls were committed by both sides.

Match 9/30 – ABSA Premiership

2018-0371

 

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.

2018-0372

Both fullbacks are suspended so they are “rested”. Other than that there are a few rotation decisions made to rest players.

2018-0373

Black Leopards are in 7th having played three more games than we have. We are strong favourites in this game.

2018-0374

 

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.

2018-0376

Ngobeni was the stand out player today. We made a mess of their fullbacks today.

Tactical Update

2018-0377

 

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

2018-0378

FS Stars and their 3-5-2 are next up. We still owe them after they knocked out of second last season.

2018-0379

Picked the Eleven fittest players in their best positions. Nothing scientific about things today,

2018-0380

We have been picked as hot favourites here. I am not buying the myth, due to past experiences.

2018-0381

 

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.

2018-0383

Match 11/30 – ABSA Premiership

2018-0384

Sundowns are currently sitting in 4th place. They look vulnerable before and after half time, so I may seek to exploit this.

2018-0385

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.

2018-0386

Very tight according to the book makers. I am hoping for the best but expecting the worst.

2018-0387

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.

2018-0389

Our shooting was awful tonight, and despite creating  a raft of opportunities, we only put one on target.

Injury Update

2018-0390

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

2018-0391

This is a whole new level of competition for me and the boys. By far the toughest game of the season!

2018-0392

Close to a full strength side fielded. Radzi will be big miss for us.

2018-0393

The odds have shortened, and I am feeling confident. We have nothing to lose here.

2018-0394

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!

2018-0396

A near run thing. They created more chances, but we took ours better!

FIFA World Club Cup Semifinal

2018-0397

The enormity of the task ahead begins to dawn on me. We are going to give them hell!

2018-0398

A few changes to the starting lineup with Ali in, Lavert shuffling up front and Ngobeni to the bench. Makaringe in for Zech.

2018-0399

Always a tough ask for the boys. Still you play the games because upsets can happen!

2018-0401

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.

2018-0403

We held our own today. If I was to level one criticism it is that we didn’t give their keeper enough to do.

Injury Update

2018-0404

Tseka is out for another 6 weeks with a twisted ankle, unfortunately for us.

FIFA World Club Cup Third Place Play-off

2018-0405

We get to face Uruguan side Penarol in the third placed play-off. This is a match that we would love to win.

2018-0406

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.

2018-0407

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.

2018-0408

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.

2018-0410

Competition Summary

2018-0411

Pleasing to see Lavet was the top goal scorer.

Injury Update

2018-0412

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

2018-0413

This is the match I really want to win. The one domestic cup which has eluded my grasp, and which would complete the set.2018-0414

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.

2018-0415

We have been made favourites in the is game. SuperSport and Cosmos have had some tough battles over the last few seasons.

2018-0416

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.

2018-0418

Match Summary

2018-0419

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.

League Table

2018-0421

Second with plenty of games to play. Not even focusing on the big picture yet.

Next Episode

2018-0420

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.

 

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MrBadDragon

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