Blaauwberg Utd on the up

dscf0215-mediumThis 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.

Rangers claim home victory

dscf0034-mediumFN Rangers hosted South End on Saturday in the early kick off match which took place at the windy Royal road complex in Maitland. Rangers have had a fair start to their 3rd division season after gaining promotion last year. Their record before the match on Saturday saw them on 9 points with 3 wins from 6 games.

South End on the other hand were chasing their 3rd victory of the season and were 2 points adrift from their hosts.

Within the first 5 minutes of the game it was evident that FN Rangers were content with holding the ball and applying pressure with some good combinations going forward. Chad Weitz, the Rangers midfielder, was prominent in most of his side’s attacks.

For most of the first half the home side were favoured with possession as they attempted to hold the ball more often but were guilty of making the incorrect decision in certain areas of the field. Rangers made use of the width of the field and at many times got in behind the South End wide defenders to attack the space closer to the poles but poor decision making let them down.
The South End defence looked comfortable with handling their opponents and had a more direct approach in reaching the final third. It was the visitors who looked more threatening when they pushed forward with Marvin Abrahams, Shuaib Darvie and Rossco Prince involved with many of their team’s chances.
A definite man of the match candidate was Rangers goalkeeper Tariq Barendse, as he looked confident in all aspects of his position, communicating with his back four and positioning himself to snuff any possible attack.
A forced substitution saw the hosts move Weitz from midfield to a wide position and it seemed to influence the way the team played as his creative ability was missing from their build up.

As the second half started the visitors had the wind at their back and had their first chance of the half in the 53rd minute when Ashlyn Tait pounced on a Rangers mistake but Tait could only see his attempt go high and pass the upright.
A few minutes later FN Rangers had 3 missed chances involving Gavin Lendis and Aidan Gouvids.

Both sides had their fair share of opportunities in the second half with the match being played from end to end but both teams unable to convert. Rangers must have thought they were taking the lead when Gouvids broke the opponent’s defensive line in the 82nd minute but missed the target with his shot.

The goal was finally scored when the South End defense could not clear the ball effectively and Brandon Orderson, of Rangers, took full advantage of the defensive lapse and buried the ball into the top right corner pass the diving South End stickman, Ivan Paulse.

FN Rangers winning 1-0 much to the relief of their coaching staff.

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SAB League promotion battle

Dean Williams from Greenwood and Nolan Waggennar from Durbanville battling it out in the midfield for their respective sides.
Dean Williams from Greenwood and Nolan Waggennar from Durbanville battling it out in the midfield for their respective sides.

Local football followers were spoilt for choice over this past fortnight as competitions took place at various venues.

With the LFA season at an end and all league winners confirmed, 35 LFA representatives took part in the SAB League playoffs held this year at William Herbert Sports Ground. The teams were split into 8 groups, 3 groups consisting of 5 teams and 5 groups of 4 teams. The competition started on the Saturday and it didn’t take long for the men to be separated from the boys. With scores of 6-0, 6-1, 5-0, 7-1 and 8-0 being recorded, it was clear the standard of the participants were somewhat mismatched.

It must be said that many of the matches were of sub standard quality with teams adopting a win at all cost approach in order to get to the next round. There were teams who stood out as a cut above the rest and many of them made it through the qualifying round.

The winner from each group then qualified for the knockout stage. Challenges were incurred for the organisers when teams defaulted as the competition progressed. The defaulted teams were expunged which meant that a few teams were disadvantaged if they had positive results against the expunged teams in the group stage.

Nevertheless the qualifiers battled it out on the 30 October and produced some exciting games.  No doubt the most entertaining match was the local CDFA side, Greenwood against Durbanville from CTTFA. By halftime 6 goals had been scored with both sides sharing the spoils at 3-3. Greenwood ran out eventual winners beating their counterparts 5-4. FC G Hotspurs scored their winner against Chelsea in the 90th min to secure their progression in the competition with a score of 3-2. JL Zwane and Connoisseur Spurs were locked at 1-1 for most of the match until the Rygate side sealed the match with a 2-1 score line. Juventus FC were able to keep a clean sheet against Bluegum United and score 2 goals to see them progress to the semi final.

And then there were 4 but only place for 2. This was the situation at 3:30pm just before the semi finals commenced. It would take 1 more win for a team to take part in the SAB League from next season. A common sentiment was quoted on the day “90 mins to decide your whole season”. That was the pressure the managers and coaches had to endure for the remaining game.

Greenwood showed their prowess and won their semi final 3-1 against FC G Hotspurs. The 2nd semi final had to be decided via a penalty shoot out which was won by Juventus FC of Greater Philippi LFA.

Junctions Rovers and D&G Orient faced each other on the 1st day of the competition
Junctions Rovers and D&G Orient faced each other on the 1st day of the competition

The SAB League Nedbank playoffs also took place with Hanover Park beating HBUFC in the semi final and they await the result of the remaining semi final between Cape Town United and D&G Orient to find out who their opponents will be.  For some of the 3rd division teams the schedule was hectic as they played 4 games in 7 days with league matches taking place during the week.

With Nedbank games coming up for the ABC Motsepe league this week, local football followers can look forward to plenty of football on offer. As usual we hope to have more quality than quantity as to make the watching experience worthwhile.

The week ahead

DSCF3262Bellstar United make the trip to Hout Bay on Friday night when they face HBUFC. Both teams recorded their first win last week where Bellstar beat UWC 1 nil and HBUFC beat Two Oceans by the same score. So far the sides are evenly matched so will make for a tough encounter.

The early 2:30 kick off on Saturday is at Royal Road where FN Rangers will be hosting Silver Spurs. Newly promoted FN Rangers already had a taste of victory in their first match but found D&G Orient too hot to handle when they lost 4-2 last week. Spurs is not going to offer any relief as the Silvertown side are yet to record their first win after drawing both their opening matches. This match should be a good contest.

South End travel to Thornton this weekend where the new Santos team will be the host. Santos have made many changes since we last saw the outfit in the 3rd division and they will be hoping to record a victory after stumbling last week against Rebels. South End will be looking to improve their season and recording their first win of the season will be a step in the right direction.

Second placed Riverside Rangers travel to Mitchells Plain and should fancy their chances against a struggling Bayhill United. Bayhill have conceded 5 goals and scored none in their past 2 games, a statistic that new coach Leon Ganger won’t be pleased about. Ganger, a former FC Fortune captain, has his work cut out in getting the Bayhill team back to winning ways. Riverside, last year’s runners up have had a good start and also managed to keep clean sheets in both their matches so far.

Junction Rovers are one of those teams which are always going to be in the mix when it comes to the end of the season. Although they haven’t recorded a win as yet, they will be a tough assignment for a Rebels side that come off a good win against Santos last week after the Khayalitsha side went down 2 nil to Riverside Rangers the week before. This has the makings of a tough game for both sides.

Table View Sports Complex will be the venue for Blaauwberg as they host Two Oceans Academy. Blaauwberg United is the new look Spice 4 Life team which made their entry to the league last season and just managed to survive relegation. With new resources available the team will be looking to make a better impact this season. They’ve had tough opening games so far as they lost to D&G Orient 3-0 but displayed character in the next match drawing 3 all against Silver Spurs. Two Oceans have had a fair start to their campaign beating UWC 3-0 but was brought down to earth when they lost to HBUFC last week. The side from Epping will want to bounce back this week and might fancy their chances against their neighbours who haven’t recorded a win as yet.

Promoted Cape Town United have to face current log leaders D&G Orient on Saturday. The Mannenberg side are high in confidence after winning their opening 2 games but the new boys haven’t done that bad in their first start in the league, having won Bayhill and drawing against Junction in their opening matches. So this has the potential of being the match of the weekend between these 2 teams.

UWC host new boys Hanover Park and the home side will be looking to improve their start to the season. The visitors managed to set aside their loss in their first game against Santos and overcame South End winning them 4 – 1 on Sunday. UWC will be hoping that Hanover Park leaves their scoring boots at home on Saturday and that the students find the back of the net.

Week 1 at a glance – SAFA 3rd division

new-logo-draftNewly promoted FN Rangers host Bayhill United on Saturday at the Royal Road sports field in Maitland.
The home side have kept most of the players who won the club promotion last year as they look for continuity and an opportunity for the young team to showcase their talent in the 3rd division. We will have to wait see the type of football they deliver as the club is well known for playing an entertaining style.
Bayhill united have a new coach. Leon Ganger takes over from Jeff Isaacs and apparently a younger outfit will take the field for the Mitchells Plain side. So with both sides having the youthful vigour this should be a cracking affair.

Bonteheuwel Sport Complex will be the venue for the South End and Bellstar clash at 3pm.There wasn’t much which separated the 2 sides last year as they ended 1 point from each other on the log. In the 2 games played last year South End were 3-1 victors in the first round but Bellstar ended the second round match encounter 2-0. Who will be victorious on Saturday?

The other promoted side is Cape Town United and they will be playing at home in Langa against Junction Rovers. Junction is a team that has pedigree in this league and are sure contenders for the title as they are every year. It is a very good first match for Cape Town United as they will know how they compare with one of the toughest teams in the division.

Rebels have their first match of the season at home in Site C. They welcome last year’s runners up, Riverside Rangers who must be 1 of the firm favourites this year after coming so close last time around being 2 points short from eventual winners, Jomos Power. The Rangers side collected 6 points from their opponents last year but will know that the home side is capable of delivering a good enough performance to win at home. An exciting match up for sure.

Spice 4 Life has had some changes internally and is now called Blaauwberg United. Coach Fortune is still in charge after taking over late in the season last year and managed to survive relegation after the side’s poor start. They host D&G Orient at Dunoon on Saturday. D&G Orient have made their intentions clear and are planning to be a force in the league. The team however has some changes in the playing staff from last year so depending how they combine might have a tough time on Saturday.

Relegated Mitchells Plain United, now called Santos in the 3rd division are home to Hanover Park who purchased the Shockwaves franchise. Santos is currently finding their feet as they rebuild the club in an attempt to become one of the powerhouses in Cape Town football as in previous years. Hanover Park have been in this environment before and was a team who, was also a force to be reckoned with on the playing field. This will be an interesting match.

UWC enter their second season in the 3rd division and are away to Two Oceans Academy in Epping on Sunday. The students had a tough time last season managing 9 wins but picked up momentum during the season to steer clear of relegation. Two oceans had a promising start last season but quickly found it tough and will be more than likely be better prepared this season.

With the first fixture taking place on Friday and all the above on Saturday and Sunday, the battle lines will be drawn and intentions made clear by Sunday evening.
It’s an exciting part of the season as coaches take stock of their pre season and test their approaches. One thing for sure it creates excitement for spectators and followers of the league. From the 4thmoment we wish all teams well and look forward to reporting on the players making their mark this season.

SAB League 2016/17 Kickoff

hbufc-vs-spursThe SAB League 2016/17 season kicks off this week. First up in Hout Bay HBUFC will be hosting Silver Spurs at the IY field at an 8pm kick off. With the newly formed 2nd division franchise formed in the area, a few players have left HBUFC including key players like ex captain Newton Constant, and found a place in the ABC Motsepe Devonshire franchise team.

HBUFC will now contain only Hout Bay based players and are looking to entrust the many youngsters to perform well enough to maintain their place in the league.
Bradley August, ex Bafana Bafana striker and most recently Glendene head coach, has taken charge of the team.
This is what HBUFC management had to say about their new coach “Bradley’s involvement stretches much further than the Castle team. He has influence across all of our structures and we’re busy building something that’s lasting and sustainable. His energy and enthusiasm is amazing-he’s had a huge impact already. Right now we’re working harder than ever; the guys are happy & disciplined. Hopefully we can win a few games and play some good football along the way”.

So all looks positive for the Hout Bay based side as they start their new journey with August. For Silver Spurs though all these new initiatives will have no bearing when it comes to kick off on Friday night. Old campaigners in the league and hugely experienced coach Victor Tajoodien with his team will be looking to collect 3 points in their first fixture. Spurs has always been a side where passion and grit are key ingredients for their success and with a few talented younger players wanting to impress, they will surely make for an exciting encounter.

NFD Preview week 2 – Stevlin Malgas

Mthatha Bucks top the NFD log after the first round of games
Mthatha Bucks top the NFD log after the first round of games

Saturday, 10 September 2016 – 15H00

Black Leopards v Jomo Cosmos, Thohoyandou Stadium

Old foes do battle as Lidoda Duvha go in search of their first points of the 2016-17 season, while Ezenkosi look to maintain their unbeaten start as they travel to the Limpopo Province. The two former PSL outfits have met on 22 occasions, Leopards edging with nine wins to Cosmos’ five, with eight matches ending a draw.

Witbank Spurs v Mthatha Bucks, Puma Rugby Stadium

A crunch encounter waits as Siyavutha face early leaders Amathol’amnyama, with both sides on the back of positive opening round results. The Eastern Cape-based Bucks however are yet to secure a point against Spurs, suffering defeat in two previous meetings.

FC Cape Town v Magesi FC, NNK Rugby Stadium

NFD rookies Magesi make their first trip to the Mother City as Moletjie’s Dikwena take on the African Beasts. The host heads into the encounter on the back of an away draw to Jomo Cosmos, while new boys Magesi look to pick themselves up from a home defeat.

Stellenbosch FC v University of Pretoria, Coetzenberg Stadium

A heated affair waits down in the Cape Winelands as Stellenbosch coach Sammy Troughton faces his previous employers.The AmaTuks bench will also have no stranger to the Mother City in coach Shaun Bartlett, as the former Cape Town Spurs striker squares off against a team where he spent a portion of his youth career at.

Mbombela United v Milano United, Kanyamazane Stadium

Tingwenyama will be gunning for their first win of the season as they come up against Eezy My Kinnes who also heads into Saturday’s encounter on the back of a first round defeat. The Cape-based side is yet to win against Mbombela having suffered 1-0 defeats on two previous outings.

Real Kings FC v Santos, Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium

The KwaZulu-Natal Kings will be aiming to extend their unbeaten start to their maiden campaign, as they host the People’s Team in their first home match of the season. Confidence will surely be high in the Santos camp, after opening round victory, as the Cape-based side looks to dethrone Kings.

Sunday, 11 September 2016 – 15H00

Thanda Royal Zulu v Royal Eagles, Umhlathuze Sports Complex

A Royal derby is set for the KZN province as a roaring Ambubeshi take on an Eagles side that are yet to take flight. Opening round results saw Thanda claw their way back to a 2-1 away victory to new boys Magesi, while Eagles had to settle for 1-1 draw against NFD rookies Real Kings.

Cape Town All Stars v AmaZulu, Parow Park

Igugu Lekapa will look to bounce back from their opening round defeat, as they take on Usuthu in their first home match of the season. A crunch encounter will surely be on the cards with both sides having bolstered their squads, gunning for outright promotion.

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NFD Week 1 Preview – Stevlin Malgas

With the National First Division starting this week, Stevlin Malgas supplies a brief preview of the fixtures

Saturday, 27 August 2016 – 15H00

University of Pretoria v Cape Town All Stars, Tuks Stadium
AmaTuks returns to life in the National First Division, after spending the past four seasons in the PSL. They welcome a promotional-driven Igugu Lekapa who will be gunning for a bright start to their third season in the NFD.

Santos v Mbombela United, Parow Park
The Peoples Team will look to hit the ground running against last season’s surprise package in Tingwenyama. Santos who are on the back of another disappointing season in the NFD, will have to battle it out against Mbombela, whose sights will be to go one better than last season’s play-off finish.

Royal Eagles v Real Kings FC, Harry Gwala Stadium
A baptism of fire will surely be on the cards as the big-spending Eagles welcomes their newly promoted neighbours. There however will be no royal treatment for the Kings as derby action ascends on the KZN province.

Mthatha Bucks v Stellenbosch FC, Mthatha Stadium
The action returns to Mthatha Stadium in what will be a replay of last season’s opening fixture, with both sides gunning for improved performances. Amathol’amnyama will be looking keep last season’s unbeaten home record intact hosting the team formerly known as Vasco Da Gama.

Magesi FC v Thanda Royal Zulu, Old Peter Mokaba Stadium
Rookies Magesi gets a taste of life in the NFD as they entertain Amabhubesi in their opening encounter. The Richards Bay-based Thanda will be hoping to stamp their authority early on, to avoid a repeat of last seasons nail bitting relegation battle.

 

Sunday, 28 August 2016 – 15H00

Jomo Cosmos v FC Cape Town, Olen Park Stadium
It’s a return to what could be said to be familiar grounds for Ezenkosi, as coach Sono plots his 4th return to the PSL. A crunch encounter can be expected as Cosmos host the African Beasts, who are also no strangers to the demands of the NFD.

AmaZulu v Black Leopards, Prince Magogo Stadium
Two former PSL sides do battle as Usuthu host Lidoda Duvha, with Zimbabwean tacticians on either side of the field getting their first taste of NFD action. There however will be no time to crawl with promotion to the elite league being high on the agenda of both sides.

Milano United v Witbank Spurs, Boland Rugby Stadium
It’s off to Boland for Eezy my Kinnes as look to avenge last season’s defeat at the hands of Siyavutha. The match day venue will surely be a test for both promotional-driven sides, with the home side scheduled to play their first competitive match at the venue.

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National First Division – Stevlin Malgas

National-First-DivisionThe National First Division is sure to heat up this coming campaign, with no less than seven former PSL-sides having to sweat it out in what is arguably the most competitive league in South Africa as everyone guns for promotion.

Despite the leagues lack of sponsorship and live TV coverage, NFD action has seen steady increase in attendance, with supporters in the Limpopo, Mpumalanga and Eastern Province outnumbering their PSL counterparts.

There has also been an influx of former top tier coaches and players adapting to the demands of the fast paced league, along with adding great value to standard.

The second tier of SA football provides a platform for up and coming footballers to showcase their talent, with some already having caught the eye of national selectors, while others managing moves to the PSL and abroad.

With the start of the 2016-17 season on the horizon, below are the 16 teams that will be looking to rise to the top.

Western Province

Kwa-Zulu Natal Province 

Cape Town All Stars AmaZulu FC
Stellenbosch FC Real Kings
FC Cape Town Royal Eagles
Milano United Thanda Royal Zulu
Santos

Limpopo Province 

Mpumalanga Province 

Black Leopards Mbombela United
Magesi Witbank Spurs

North West Province 

Eastern Province

Jomo Cosmos Mthatha Bucks

Gauteng Province 

University of Pretoria

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Cup holders crash out of Coke – Joe Pillay

Young Idols 2015Defending champions Young Idols reign in a Safa Cape Town’s lucrative and ever-popular Coca-Cola Cup came to an abrupt end on Sunday.
The Manenberg side of Paul “Gazza” Johnson ended their journey at the Bonteheuwel sports complex against three-time crown champions Jamestown United from Athlone LFA.
The Athlone-based side progressed to the Last 16 round by virtue of their 5-3 victory on penalties after the game ended goalless.
Jamestown United, one of a very few clubs who won the Coke Cup three times in 1997, 1998 and 2008 will play Citizens FC from Langa in the next round at the William Herbert sports ground in Wynberg on August 21.
Nevertheless, it would have an insult to injury had Jamestown lost to Young Idols in the penalty shootout!
The Athlone side played like a well drilled oil machine and grafted like students burning the mid-night oil on the eve of the big examination.
With the result Jamestown United showed their opponents no respect at all. They completely dominated the game on the wide and big pitch which as expected Young Idols would find difficult to grasp.
But with in mind, Jamestown failed to find the back of the net. Why? Because they persisted with shots to the goalpost in the air which goalkeeper Ramone Newman dealt with brilliantly instead of testing the keeper with ground shots.
Idols never really tested the Jamestown custodian Abdur-Raaziq Brown because the Athlone side defence kept a tight rope on the opposition forwards, namely Ridaah Reid, Shannon Hendricks, Durand Mitchell and Keith Jansen.
The Jamestown side featured three Paulse brothers – the twin pair of Damien and Daniel and elder brother Denzil, who were the noticeable players among the relatively young side that also included Marawaan “Boontjie” Bantam, Geron Barnes, Graham Opperman and Ryan Brooks.
While Jamestown United deserved to win, Young Idols, who played their first game away from the comfort of their home, the Astro-turf Greens complex in Manenberg – can only dream of what could have been. They were complete out of it as the Athlone side worked non-stop to bring them down to earth.
For Jamestown Marawaan Bantam, Graham Opperman, Daniel Paulse, Geron Barnes and Damien Paulse all converted their spot kicks while Reidewaan Josephs, Lwandile Soboyise and Safwaan Stellenboom scored for Young Idols while goalie Brown saved Keagan Davids’penalty.
The draw fixtures for Last 16 (Sunday, 7 August) is: Florentina vs Young Pirates, Grassy Park United vs Glendene United, Langa Citizens vs Jamestown United, SSS Academy vs Wesley United/Two For Joy, Melchester Rovers vs Silver Spurs, FC Orient vs Beacon Spurs, FCG Hotspurs vs Rygersdal and Stephanian Ottery vs United FC.
The Results
SENIORS
BONTEHEUWEL: Florentina 3, Everton Spurs 1; Grassy Park United 3, Crystal Palace 2; Stephanian Ottery 2, Central 1; Jamestown United 5, Young Idols 3 (penalties, 0-0); FC Orient 5, D&G Orient 4 (penalties, 1-1); Melchester Rovers 4, Spenston 2; Glendene United 2, Ashford Athletic 1.
GRASSY PARK: Silver Spurs 2, TUBS 0; Beacon Spurs 3, Eleven Attackers 1; Citizens 2, Hustlas 1; SSS Academy 3, Wesfleur 2; FCG Hotspurs 2, CT Military 0; Rygersdal 8, TP Shepards 0; United 7, Ace Mates 1; Young Pirates 4, Stanturf United 2 (penalties, 0-0).
UNDER-18
BONTEHEUWEL: Glendene United 2, Project Playground 0; Atlantic Nacional 1, FC Pioneers 0; Blue Downs Spurs 2, Don’t Mess With Texas 1; Hellenic 2, Real Thembisa 0; Everton United 1, Valhalla United 0; Liverpool-Portland 5, Seven Attackers 3; Milano United 2, Abatshana 0; Sporting United 6, Mighty Bucks 0.
GRASSY PARK: Old Mutual Academy 1, SSS Academy 0; Vasco da Gama 3, X1 Swallows 1; Masidlale 2, KTW Black Stars 0; Masithandane 4, Leiden Fusion Spurs 1; Junior Pirates 5, Silver Spurs 3 (penalties, 0-0); Eastern Rovers 2, MPCE 1; Bellville United 6, Archivers FC 5 (penalties, 0-0); Cedar United 4, Woodlands United 2.