So, two games done and dusted in the SAB League and already some are making predictions. Premature many would say as this year’s start has already been exciting.
To kick off the season newcomers Nova Nacional, who purchased the Riverside Rangers spot, hosted an exciting launch at the River Club and with that sending a strong message to the rest of the football world that they mean business. With strong financial backing and a clear vision the team attracted high expectation from others.
After their two matches they have earned a point after losing to Greenwood and drawing with Hanover Park last Friday. The Hanover Park vs Nova Nacional match felt like a match between two sides yet to find their rhythm. For Nacional it is obvious as every match for them is a new experience and for Hanover Park it was probably new Head Coach Jerome Seherie implementing his style on the group.
Hanover Park looked more the assertive side especially in the first half with experienced midfielder Fernel Abrahams calling the shots. On the counter though the Nacional team created chances and in the 15th minute Rubin Matts had Nova’s first shot on target but was saved by Gary Jassman, the Park goalkeeper.
Nova’s next clear chance was in the 30th minute when Faizel Johnson found himself taking a shot in the 18 yard area but once again Jassman saved for Park.
In the next few minutes Hanover Park came close to scoring but missed the target twice when defender Nathan Idas headed wide from corner set pieces.
The 40th minute was the last chance created in the half for Nova when Wesley Lottering held onto the ball too long and was tackled in the box causing the ball to ricochet to Matts who saw his shot saved again by Jassman diving to his bottom left, collecting the ball.
At halftime the match was goalless but with Hanover Park looking more likely to score as they were much sharper to the ball while Nova was containing the pressure and creating chances from the break.
It didn’t take long for the home side to break the deadlock as Xola Balele took advantage of a breakdown during the Nova play and scored the opener in the 10th minute.
Nova Nacional equalised in the 24th minute when the ball was played over the Park defence and Faizel Johnson was first to react and slipped the ball pass Jassman and into the back of the net.
The rest of the half had opportunities for both sides but the away side showing more purpose in their attack. The match ended 1-1.