Astrid’s still going strong – Coke Cup 2021

Astrid in goals for Shosoloza – Picture by Rashied Isaacs

The 2021 Coke Cup finals take place this Saturday, 16th October at Erica Park with 3 finals being contested, the U18 Boys, Senior Ladies and Senior Male division.

Cape Town City and Hellenic will face each other in the U18 boys’ division while Rygersdal FC and Dynamos battle it out for the Men’s Senior Cup. The Ladies final promises to be the pick of the finals as fellow Sasol League participants Vasco Da Gama and Shosoloza FC come head to head for the 2nd time in as many weeks.

Both teams are fellow contenders for the number 1 spot in Stream B of the Sasol League and have so far delivered exciting encounters in the league with Vasco, making a comeback in the 1st match and beating the visitors 4-3 and both sides sharing the spoils last Saturday drawing 1-1 at Holy Cross, Bellville. Both teams are filled with players who possess an abundance of ability and talent but 1 of these ladies stand out with years of experience and achievements.

Approaching the age of 44 years, Astrid Van Kesteren is still as competitive today as she was 26 years ago when she joined Liverpool Portland as an 18 year old. The excitement and enthusiasm in her voice as Astrid relayed her football journey thus far was clear and one could almost feel the enjoyment she experiences when playing 1 of the sports she loves and achieved in. Not only did she play football for her country but also represented South Africa in softball and has been a member of Glenthorn As softball team from an early age.

Coming from a strong sporting family where her siblings reached provincial level in their respective sporting codes has helped evolve her into the vibrant athlete she is and rushing from a football match in Wynberg to a softball game at Turfhall, was a normal Saturday in the Van Kesteren family.

Astrid began playing football in high school where she started out as a defender for the Belgravia High, girls team. Her club football kicked off after Matric when she joined Liverpool Portland in Mitchells Plain and it was then when the position of goalkeeper was available and Astrid eagerly volunteered to keep take the position.

After spending 2 seasons at Liverpool a move to Spurs WFC (formerly Cape Town Spurs Ladies) was taken and this would be her home for a number of years until very recently. At Spurs WFC her fellow teammates were players like Desiree Ellis (current SA Women’s coach) and Joanne Solomons (SA national team). Coaches like Boebie Solomons and Farouk Abrahams had a positive influence in her football and goalkeeping education.

Experiencing a severe injury while playing for Banyana Banyana in 2000, Astrid overcame her setback with good recovery and is grateful for still being able to carry on playing.

Planning to retire after 2019 and with the arrival of the Pandemic, Astrid was set to put her playing days behind her but with constant calls from wanting clubs, edged her to give it another go. A go getter by nature and a self-motivated individual, Astrid set a goal of qualifying for the national playoffs with her current team Shosoloza this season.

Astrid in action for Glenthorn As – Picture by Rashied Isaacs

Aware of her age and experience, the Athlone born veteran willingly assists with younger teammates and offers them invaluable advice and shares her wealth of knowledge. This portrays her positive character and ability to share her years of experience as 1 of the oldest players in the league and with no sign of slowing down.
Dedication, hard work and self-discipline is a possible way to describe the nearly 44 year old and hopefully the younger generation of ladies can use her as an example to realize the possibility of what can happen if you take care of your physical and mental self.

For the Coke final, she’s embracing it as just another match where she can perform and do what she loves best and a win will be a bonus.

Weels get Matroos rolling to the playoffs

Match day for the Mens Regional League final 2021 eventually took place on a chilly Tuesday night at NY49, Gugulethu.

The delay of this fixture was caused by a complaint filed by Silver Spurs against Hanover Park for fielding an ineligible player in the last match of the season when HP faced Vasco Da Gama.

In the Regional Mens League the statutes states that the onus is on each club to record the yellow cards issued and not the responsibility of the League. In many opinions that is a copout by the League as it’s a responsibility which is shifted to the amateur clubs. Be that as it may, that is the law at the moment.
With the above said, the League does publish a summary of cautions on a weekly basis and on that summary, the player in question still had 3 yellow cards recorded and the 4th received against City was not recorded.

Spurs lost the initial case but appealed and won via arbitration resulting in Hanover Park being deducted 3 points and making them end 3rd on the log with Trinitarians second and Spurs 1st meaning that Spurs would face Stream A winners, Matroosfontein.

Many predicted the match to be tactical and a bit on the slow side but it instead it turned out to be an exciting and tactical encounter. Although both sides showed aggression in attack, it was Matroos who seemed the more dominant. Cheslyn Visagie, the Spurs defender, had a torrid time keeping his defence in check while they saw off the danger posed by Matroos. It was the side from the “dorp” who scored first but Spurs managed to get a goal back by halftime.

In the second half Matroosfontein continued their rhythm as they probed the Spurs defence while Spurs seemed to have only game plan which was playing the ball to top goal scorer, Ameen Awaldeen but he was kept at bay by James Berziek, the Matroos captain and central defender.

With the 2 goals scored in the second half, the side from Matroosfontein saw out the rest of the match and prevented any danger offered by Spurs to threaten them.

At the end of the match Coach Victor Tajoodien of Silver Spurs had this to say: “Although we are devastated, Matroos was the better team on the night and we wish them well in playoffs”

Coach Patrick Weels “I’m over the moon, we waited long for this and the players gave a good account of themselves tonight.”

Matroosfontein advance to the regional playoffs where they aim to take the leap to the ABC Motsepe League this weekend.

Team performance is key for Matroos

Matroosfontein are sitting pretty at the top of Stream A and it’s unlikely that they will be dethroned from the summit but, coach Patrick Weels is all to weary of complacency as he can still recall the season when his side was 21 points clear and still failed to win the league. In his own words “I will never forget that season”

On Saturday the log leaders hosted the team at the bottom of the log, Bayview FC from Mitchells Plain. If anyone thought that this would be a walk in the park for Matroos, they would be highly mistaken as the Bayview team is on the mend and have shown improved results of late.

It was the home side that took the early initiative as Curtley Poole latched on a loose ball in the final third and squeezed it inside the near post to give his side the early lead.

After the goal the visitors started to string a few attacks together and applied pressure on the hosts’ defence. In the 10th minute Lincoln Felix from Bayview had the opportunity to unleash a shot but was off target not troubling the Matroos goalkeeper, Preston Branco.
Bayview held majority of the possession but lacked the ability to create real opportunities mainly because of poor decision making in the final third. Matroosfontein were picking up the loose ball quite easily and were swift in their attack with the ball being swung from 1 side of the field to the other in a very speedily fashion.

It was also clear that the home side preferred smaller interchanges before directing the ball into space on the far side where 1 of their attackers were ready to pounce. Kyle Morris, of Matroosfontein, was dangerous off the ball as well as when in possession.

The Matroosfontein midfield pairing of Reagan Faro and Curtley Poole formed a good combination and understanding of each other’s whereabouts which made it easier to relieve pressure as soon as they won the ball.
For Bayview, Taariq Petersen and Chad Goliath were stand out performers.

The first half ended 1-0 to the home side but all the questions were being asked by the visitors.

With coach Rezaan Jacobs from Bayview making some adjustments to his line up, the visitors were able to continue their hunt for the equalizer. The second half became a more open affair with players tiring but the intensity of the match was still present. Bayview got their equalizer when Matroosfontein defence was unable to clear a wide cross effectively and the experienced Rezico Davids, struck the ball towards goal and into the net, making the score 1-1.

In their search for the winner Bayview had a lapse of concentration and a minute after the goal was scored, the home side snuck in behind the defence to score the winner. A probing through ball by Curtley Poole to Luciano Johnson was enough for Johnson to bury the ball pass Bayview keeper, Marawaan Cupido.

Great performances by these boys. From left – Wendell Cornelissen, Kyle Moses and Luciano Johnson

As a recap, Bayview’s downfall in this match would be their poor decision making in the final third and maybe playing too much as individuals as compared to Matroosfontein’s team performance and well drilled attacking play when in possession.

The win solidifies Matroosfontein top position as they prepare to the winner of Stream B.

Spoils shared at Hickory Battle

On Saturday Hanover Park visited their old rival Silver Spurs at Hickory Road in a much anticipated SAFA Regional League 3rd division match.

The visitors entered the weekend with 2 games in hand with a double header and could potentially have been placed top of the log if both games were won.

The action was nonstop from the start with both sides not willing to give an inch of advantage to their opponent and it was clear that bruising tackles with spirited performances was on the cards for the day. The match could be described as a classic match of 2 halves where either side could’ve walked off as winners.

Hanover Park had the upper hand in the first half with Spurs doing most of the defending. In the 11th minute the home side conceded a corner and in their failure to clear their goal area, Carl Van Reenen from Hanover Park was allowed to pounce on the loose ball and score the opening goal of the match.
The visitors’ lead was short lived as not more than a minute later Rabian Beukes equalized for Silver Spurs after latching onto a free kick in the Hanover Park half.

The rest of the half saw few attempts by both sides but with Hanover Park looking more likely to score. Just before the break, Aasif George the Hanover Park attacker, did well to round the Spurs defence and squeeze his pass into the small box where Mikyle George calmly took his shot but Spurs’ goalkeeper, Carlo Jones pulled off an impressive save.

After the break the home team improved their performance and made the 2nd half their own. They had a bit more possession and created more opportunities to score. The Spurs front man, Brandon Schroeder, missed some golden opportunities especially late in the second half but in the end a tight and not so pretty football match ended with both sides sharing the spoils.

City Claim Victory In 7 Goal Thriller

Johnston Road was the venue which hosted Junction Rovers and Cape Town City in a bottom of the table clash in stream B of the Regional Mens League.

Both teams are in a rebuilding phase this season as they have new coaches in charge this year with a change in player staff to their respective squads. With neither team able to record a win thus far, the opportunity was up for grabs for either coaches to record their first 3 pointer.

The first few minutes of the match saw City with a slight upper hand which resulted in their opening attempt by Austin Faro but his attempt was saved by Junction goal keeper Shakeel Arendse.
Junction quickly responded when Lucian Johannes found himself with time and space in the City box but he scuffed his shot wide.

The contrasting playing styles was clear to see as the visitors kept their width while trying to draw the opponents inside in an attempt to free up space for those wide players. This did however leave City vulnerable at times when defending as most of the Junction attacks came from the left and right hand side of the field.

Rovers missed a prime opportunity to open the scoring when Sikeurro Sheller and Mikyle Adams failed to communicate with each other inside the small box of the City goal keeper and both attempted to shoot simultaneously and, in the end, fluffed the attempt wide of the posts.

In the 30th minute the tall Cape Town City goal keeper, Sixolisiwe Madolwana, was called into action and saved an attempt by Lwandile Dlokova who only had the keeper to beat to put his side in the lead. Junction Rovers had their fair share of the ball and created opportunities but they lacked the final pass and composure to make those attempts count.

Late in the first half the defence of Junction Rovers was caught napping when Sihle Doyiza guided his curling free kick into the opponents’ area and teammate Faro latched onto the end of it and scored the opening goal taking his side 1-0 up.
Sisonke Lubelwana from City came close to doubling his side’s lead when his shot from outside the Junction box was heading for goal when keeper, Arendse, tipped the attempt over the crossbar.

Just before the halftime whistle Lebelwana had another attempt on target which Arendse got a hand to but this time the shot was too strong for him to save and crossed the goal line to take City 2-0 into the break. The good build up from the middle of the park which led to the attempt made the goal a bit more precious.

Early after the restart Cape Town City were awarded a penalty as the Junction keeper was adjudged to have fouled Luvulo Bhangushe in the penalty area and Sifumba Luphumlo converted from the spot.

Shortly after Junction’s Lucian Johannes, assisted by Mikyle Adams, found the back of the net to get his side on the scoresheet and instill some belief in a comeback. The second half was very different compared to the first as Rovers kept the ball long and influenced the match with substitutions which made an impact in their attack. This aerial ploy had City under pressure and were left defending for many parts of the half.

City had another penalty awarded but Lisakhanyo Mene had his spot kick saved by Arendse. With the match a bit more open, opportunities were created on either side and unfortunately the home side had too many near misses to be able to salvage any points from the encounter.

The match ended with a 4-3 victory to Cape Town City and leaves Junction Rovers firmly rooted at the bottom with 1 point.

Goal scorers were:
Junction Rovers – Lucian Johannes, Marlin Wilters and Vuyisa Sigalelana
Cape Town City – Austin Faro x 2, Sisonke Lubelwana and Sifumba Luphumlo

Points shared after an intense encounter

The clash between Cape Umoya and Silver Spurs at the Portuguese Club on Saturday was expected to be a tight affair with both sides needing the win after their previous weekend.
Firstly, the home side had an admin mishap the week before which caused them to default their match against Vasco Da Gama and resulted in their first loss of the season.

Silver Spurs on the other hand failed to win both their double header fixtures last week and could only record a draw in both matches, 0-0 with Bluegum and 1-1 with Jamestown.

From the kickoff the tone for the match was set as both sides were in an attacking mood. Umoya’s attack was led by Riyaaz Nell, while Spurs’ strike force included Robbie Fredericks and Ameen Awaldien.

Within the first 10 minutes there were opportunities at both ends but it wasn’t until the 17th minute when Fredericks held up a loose ball in the opponent’s half and delivered a pass to Ethan Felix, who found Awaldien in the area and he calmly finished off the move with a goal, leaving Umoya’s goalkeeper, Thaaqib Domingo, with no chance.

There was an immediate reaction from Gareth Ncaca’s men when they launched an attack but Adenaan Brown had his shot saved.

The rest of the first half consisted of the away side creating opportunities and using their possession to penetrate the last 3rd but couldn’t convert their chances whereas the home side were continually trying to play from the back but with the bouncy pitch it was difficult for them to execute their game plan. Spurs also started applying a high press which forced Umoya to play the long ball out which was easily picked up by the able Spurs defence.

The second half started with Umoya on the front foot as they searched for the equalizer. The addition of Levi Qubeka as part of the Umoya attack made a positive difference for the home side. With 4 minutes played the home side were awarded a penalty when an attempt on target struck Spurs’ defender, Rabian Beukes’ hand and Riyaaz Nell scored to bring his side on level terms.
Umoya were reduced to 10 men when Adenaan Brown was sent off for violent conduct after he felt he was fouled close to the touchline.

Neither side found their rhythm in the second half and although the match was quite physical it started to become a bit more intense as the half continued. With tackles flying in and tensions running high the match became very open as both sides attempted to create opportunities. Spurs were unable to make their extra man count and had to settle for a draw while Cape Umoya will feel that they played well enough to deserve a win but too little chances were created during the match for them to make a difference to the score line.

This weekend’s matches have some interesting match ups coming up. The early kick off in Hangberg is at 1PM as Crystal Palace host Bayview FC. The venue is a contentious issue amongst clubs at the moment because of its small size and little space around the field which has caused some serious injuries for players. Palace have already lost 3 matches while Bayview have recorded 2 losses with a draw. Both teams have won 2 games and this should be a balanced affair.

A bottom of the log clash awaits in Langa as Cape Town United and Goal 50 go head-to-head in an attempt to climb the log. Another match that should be balanced based on recent results.

What is promised to be a tough encounter is taking place in Ocean View as the home side hosts Matroosfontein, current leaders in Stream A and there’s no doubt it won’t be smooth sailing for the visitors.

The final match in the group will be played in Mitchells Plain when Woodlands welcome Greenwood Athletic to Stephen Reagan. To their standards. both teams are recording below par results at the moment with Greenwood looking more to make a recovery of their season. Another appetizing encounter ahead but will Coach Zarrie and his Woodlands team be able to clinch it?

Stream B has similar balanced matches and it starts with an amended kick off between Junction Rovers and Cape Town City. The match has been moved to Johnston Road as the Heideveld facility has been closed off due to a positive covid case. This is a bottom of the log clash with neither side able to record a victory as yet. Both coaches are new in the league and will be looking at this match to bank some much needed points.

Jamestown welcome Cape Umoya to Hazel road and both sides are headed by former great players now in their coaching roles namely Marawaan Bantam (Jamestown) and Gareth Ncaca (Umoya). Cape Umoya will be favourites for this one but there’s no discounting Jamestown as they will be confident after their victory over Bluegum last week.

Trinitarians and Vasco Da Gama are on the same points and are separated by goal difference. These 2 teams face each other in Uitsig and could home ground advantage see Coach Zaheer and his Trinnies team take this one?

Another exciting match up is Bluegum hosting Hanover Park at Bonteheuwel. Hanover Park had a good start and will feel boosted after their 5-0 win over Junction last week. Bluegum play well at home and have a vibrant energetic team, will they be too hot to handle for the visitors?

Sunday sees the final match of the weekend when Cape Umoya host Trinitarians at the Portuguese Club in Milnerton.

Matroosfontein Ahead of the Stream

Reagan Faro in red, leading the Matroos attack

In a double header weekend, Heideveld side Goal 50 Unite, hosted Matroosfontein on Saturday at Heideveld in an early 2pm kick off. The visitors came to Heideveld with a better record for the season than their hosts as coach Patrick Wheels’ charges played 2 games of which they won 1 and drew 1 while Goal 50 Unite lost both their opening matches.

One of the first chances of the match fell to Matroosfontein when Lorenzo Jaap did extremely well out wide to round the defence and deliver a good cross into the area of Goal 50 but Keanan De Wet struck his shot over the crossbar. It was clear that the lanky striker Reagan Faro, would be a concern for the Goal 50 defence as his work rate, energy and ability to link up with his teammates was plain to see.

The home side was not outdone by their more favoured opponents as they managed to compete for possession in the midfield but to their own undoing, lost the ball by unforced errors as they were guilty of not releasing the ball quick enough. At the times when they tried to release the ball quicker, their passes were either intercepted or not completed.

Matroosfontein captain James Beziek dictating play on Saturday

The first half seemed more like the Heideveld side were waiting on their opponents’ errors and then play off those mistakes but many times the action took place deep in their own half and they were not effective in playing the ball further up the field.

On the other hand, Matroos looked more structured, energized, executing good combinations, confident in their plan and enjoyed plenty of possession in the midfield with captain, James Beziek dictating the pace and attack with his passing and vision.

The visitor’s first goal came shortly before halftime when Albertino Van De Heuwel guided a well delivered corner kick, taken by Curtley Poole, into the far corner of the poles beating goal keeper, Niven Scott.

Just after 9 minutes in the 2nd half, Goal 50 was unfortunate to concede as the visitors scored their 2nd goal. Faro struck a shot from outside the area and goalkeeper Scot, lost his footing as he slipped and to his dismay could only watch the ball pass him into the back of the net.

Faro scored his second when he took charge of a free kick just outside the home side’s area and struck the ball pass the diving Scot who wasn’t quick enough to react and prevent the goal being scored.

The second half consisted of the hosts trying their utmost to get back into the encounter and at times they had the upper hand as the visitors seemed to have relaxed a bit. With changes being made by the home side, they were more penetrative and created opportunities inside the final third. There hard work was rewarded with a penalty and Jean Pierre Jafta made no mistake when he converted for the consolation goal.

Trinnies (white) beat Junction (yellow) 4-0 on Saturday

Matroosfontein ended the double header weekend with 6 points as they beat Crystal Palace on Sunday to enter the week top of the table in stream A.

Goal 50 managed to turn their fate around on Sunday when they beat Greenwood Athletic 3-2 making it 2 losses in a row for the Retreat side as they were beaten by Bayview FC with the same score line on Friday night.

In other matches, Silver Spurs were brought down to earth after their great start to the season when they drew both their matches the weekend with Bluegum and Jamestown respectively. Vasco Da Gama, 2nd placed in stream B, picked up 4 points the weekend as they beat Jamestown 2-1 on Saturday and were gifted the points on Sunday after their opponents, Cape Umoya, failed to pitch for their game.

Coach Zaheer Simons from Trinitarians will be relieved and happy after his side earned all points up for grabs after their opening loss. Trinitarians trounced Junction Rovers 4-0 on Saturday and beat Hanover Park 1-0 on Sunday at home in Uitsig.

Other results: Sunday – Bayview 0-4 Woodlands, Crystal Palace 1–3 Matroosfontein, Junction Rovers 1- 1 Bluegum

Saturday – Cape Town United 0-0 Woodlands, Crystal Palace 1-2 Ocean view, Cape Umoya 2-0
Cape Town City

Bluegum victorious at Home

On Saturday 17th Bluegum United hosted newly promoted side Trinitarians in the SAFA Regional Mens League at Bonteheuwel Sports Ground.

The scorching hot weather didn’t deter the 2 sides from playing at a high intensity and the home side quickly made their intentions felt in the 4th minute when Matthew Pelton delivered his corner and Yaseen Koopman had his header defended, much to relief of the visitor’s technical staff.

Trinitarians were facing a relentless period of attack by Bluegum and the fierce tackles exchanged between both sides forced the first substitution of the match for the visitors when, Lyle Johnson replaced Jeffrey Ruiters within 20 mins of the start. Bluegum had the ascendency in the first 20 mins of the match, looking sharper, quicker to the ball and more decisive in attack.

With the restart after the water break, the momentum shifted to the visitors as the forced change for Trinitarians also resulted in a positional change which saw experienced campaigner, Rubin Jacobs, shifted in the heart of the midfield. The result of this move had Trinnies more in possession and on attack for the rest of the first half. Although they struggled with the pitch, they held firm with moving the ball through the zones and creating chances like, when Ryan Paulse missed his opportunity to score as he headed the ball past the upright at the end of the half.

The second half started just as intense as the first when Bluegum substitute Chadwin Erickson received the ball from broken play in the Trinnies half, took the shot but it was saved and the visitors immediately countered but also missed their opportunity with the shot going wide.

The first goal of the match was scored by Bluegum’s Ishrafiel Lottery after the away side’s defence failed to deal with a free kick in the box. The home side doubled their lead when Asheeq Valentine found Matthew Pelton in the area and Pelton scored.
Trinitarians scored their 1st goal from a corner when Jason Warner took advantage of a sleepy Bluegum defence. The home side quickly struck back when Muazzam Esau delivered a good pass to Pelton on the edge of the opponents’ box, Pelton miskicked and William Rhode latched onto the loose ball and scored.

Trinnies, determined to get something from the match scored another just before time when substitute Charles Japhta scored his team’s second after goalkeeper Maselino Keet (Bluegum) saved an attempt by Jason Warner. Bluegum secured their first win of the season with this 3-2 win over Trinitarians.

In other matches played in Stream B, Silver Spurs secured their 2nd win of the season against Vasco when they won 3-1 on Friday night. Hanover Park were held to a 2-2 draw with Cape Umoya while Jamestown earned their first point of the season in a draw against Cape Town City.

In Stream A Crystal Palace has 2 wins from 2 matches as they beat Cape Town United in Langa on Saturday, goals scored by former Greenwood player, Tevin Horne and Griffin Carolus scored the 2nd, while Greenwood earned Cape District bragging rights as they beat Ocean View 4-1 in Ocean View. Matroosfontein and Bayview shared the spoils on Friday night with a 1-1 draw and Woodlands overcame their defeat from the previous week and beat Goal 50 Unite 5-3.

This week the teams look forward to double headers in both streams.

Hanover Park see off Newcomers

The SAFA CT Regional Mens 3rd division kicked off last Saturday after more than a year after the league was interrupted due to the Covid#19 Pandemic.

The interruption resulted in no relegation for teams and also meant that the side who led the log at the time, Hanover Park, represented the region in the playoffs for a 2nd division spot. In addition, the 2 promoted teams of 2019/20, Jamestown and Trinitarians were included in the 2021 season making it an 18-team league. For the 2021 season the 18 clubs voted for a 2-stream league consisting of 9 teams each where each league winner would face each other for a playoff spot.

Newcomers Jamestown had the tough task of hosting one of last season’s form sides, Hanover Park, as their first assignment of their campaign. Hanover Park had the first attempt in the match when Azeem Samuels was the quickest to react from a freekick but struck his header off target and over the crossbar.

Jamestown, determined not be outdone by their opponents, created two attempts by Levi Benjamin in close succession in the 10th minute but he was unfortunately not able to make it count.
As the 1st half progressed the match became more balanced with both sides enjoying their fair number of attempts and their different styles of play was more evident. The home side had a more patient build up and managed to string a few passes together while the Hanover were looking to get the ball to the front men as quickly as possible.

As halftime approached it was clear that the away team were more structured in their positions on the pitch, while Jamestown were quite the opposite as they were covering quite a bit of ground in defense and attack which resulted in them looking a bit more fatigued than their opponents at halftime. Jamestown’s Mikyle Adams could’ve taken his side ahead when he did well to deceive the opposing defenders in the area but delayed the shot and lost possession because of it.

Early in the second half and Hanover Park came close to scoring as Mikyle George was at the end of a Fernel Abrahams’ corner kick but missed the target. Jamestown were holding their own until the 10th minute when Mikyle Adams received a 2nd yellow card and with that received his marching orders. With the home side down to 10 men, the visitors found the gaps in the Jamestown defense mush easier to penetrate and Mikyle George with Roderick Francis making the most damage.

15 minutes into the 2nd half and Jamestown concede a corner as Gilberto Olveira makes a brilliant tackle to deny Francis but from the subsequent corner taken by Abrahams, Hanover Park scores via a Mikyle George header to take his side 1-0 up.

As the match nears its end the away side created more chances but the Jamestown goalkeeper displayed some good saves keep the score at 1-0. Unfortunately for Jamestown the few chances they created were not fruitful as the defense of Hanover Park held firm led by Aqeel Jappie.

League update at lockdown

As our country experiences our first lockdown we take the time to have a look at what stage in the season the SAFA 3rd division was suspended and its impact.

After round 17 Hanover Park are at the summit due to a better goal difference than Greenwood Athletic and newcomers Crystal Palace as all three teams have 31 points. Hot on their heels is Cape Town City with 30 points who also have the best goal difference in the league due to their high goal-scoring rate of 45 goals in 17 matches.

Other newcomers Woodlands, who have been doing well to keep in the top 5 are only 2 points (29) adrift from the top 3 while former log leaders Silver Spurs are in 6th spot with 28 points.

Between 8th and 1st place sees only a 5 point difference which offered an exciting scenario before the suspension of the league.

Matroosfontein who was at the same time last season in the top 3, are now facing relegation as they are rooted at the bottom with only 8 points and recording 2 wins this season. Cape Town United and Goal 50 are part of the threatened relegation mix and are in danger of the drop if they fail to record some positive results once the league resumes or IF it resumes.

Teams having a better record this season compared to last year are Bluegum United, Rebels, Bellstar and Cape Town City, with the latter in the top 5.

With the lockdown imposed having 21 days without any activity all clubs are in an unfamiliar and scary position with a vast number of challenges facing clubs.

Player fitness and readiness is probably the most concerning for technical staff as players might be keeping physically fit at home, but will need time to adapt to match fitness post the lockdown.

The ability to adapt to the time off will determine which teams will benefit the most if a return does happen. If the league does resume then the break may offer clubs like Matroosfontein, Cape Town United and Goal 50 an opportunity to recover as the lockdown might serve as a leveler as it is possible that other teams will struggle to continue the form they had before the break.

Another talking point is that the uncertainty of the restart to the league may cause some teams to lose key players. Although the 3rd Division is an amateur league, some teams do remunerate players and the fact that there are no matches taking place, may cause players not to be paid.

The reality of the matter is that the 21-day break may change the whole complexity of the current log positions especially considering the points difference between 15th place and 1st place is only 16 points at the moment compared to last season where it was 24 points at the same stage.

SAFA will assess the situation after the lockdown and decide the way forward and hopefully, by then we would’ve flattened the curve and have a chance of returning to the sports field but also bearing in mind that there is also the real possibility that leagues may not resume.

#staysafe