This past Saturday we were at Thornton Sports field where Santos hosted Blaauwberg United in a 3 o’ clock kick off. Both teams haven’t had the greatest start to their respective campaign as after 8 games played, they find themselves the bottom half of the log.
The condition at Thornton was windy to say the least and with water restrictions in the city enforced, the pitch was considerably hard under foot.
Both sides would’ve earmarked this fixture to come away with a positive result to improve their log position and the game turned out to be quite entertaining for the neutral spectator.
The first half seemed to be a balanced affair as Blaauwberg looked to be the team taking the challenge to their hosts whereas Santos were more reactive when possession was lost by their opponents but unfortunately, continuously lost possession in the final third.
Numerous half chances were created by Blaauwberg and they were close to scoring just before the break but, Ndabezinhle Mathonsi’s attempted cross was lobbed over the crossbar after good interchanges from the left hand side.
At halftime the match was scoreless with both teams having to improve parts of their game. The visitors were good going forward with combinations out wide but seemed to lack support as they advanced into the final third, therefore causing them not able to capitalize on their possession in front of goal. For Santos on the other hand was the difficulty of moving the ball from their midfield into an attacking opportunity and at times when they were able to, the possession was lost too easily, either through incorrect decision making or good defensive organization by Blaauwberg.
The second half had plenty of action from the start with Blaauwberg continuing their dominance with being more effective when in possession. By the 20th minute Santos had their first real chance to score when a Blaauwberg defender failed to execute a tackle on his opponent but the attempt wasn’t on target and went wide of the upright.
With players tiring, the away side were guilty of losing possession cheaply and allowing the hosts to get their foot on the ball. Santos were also making more use of the wide players in an attempt to get behind the Blaauwberg defence.
In the 70th minute Blaauwberg striker, Alex Kanu, robbed the ball from Santos midfielder, Junaud Charles deep in the Santos half,Kanu quickly passed the ball to the supporting attacker and Zakhele Luthuli executed a sublime finish to bury the ball pass Sam Collins, the Santos keeper.
Santos had a late chance to equalize but Benjamin Matshoba of Santos placed the ball straight to Blaauwberg keeper, Mark Anderson.
The match ended 1-0 in favour of the visitors and earned the Blaauwberg side a much needed 3 points.