The story of the Regional Mens League Cape Town Nedbank Cup came to its conclusion this Wednesday as Matroosfontein took on Premier United in the highly anticipated final.
Both teams walked onto the pitch with their heads held high as they were ready to do battle and be crowned champions. This showed in their style of play, as both teams came out pressing high and tested the composure of each other’s backline and midfield, with the common outlet to this being long balls.
Matroos opened the scoring early in the first half as their high press worked out for them as Tuaric Gamildien, the Matroos attacker, pressed the goalkeeper of Premier and forced a heavy touch from the goalie, Gamildien then pounced on the error and chipped the ball over the scrambling keeper and ran off to celebrate in the corner.
Now trailing, Premier took it as extra motivation and they started to control the game more, containing Matroos to their own half and forcing a few good saves from Matroos’ keeper. Premier were awarded a penalty late into the half after Mogamat Moosa was deemed to have handled the ball in the box.
Up stepped Lance Beyers to take the penalty however, he could not score and dragged his shot just past the left upright. Matroos had the lead going into the break but Premier had the momentum.
Premier Utd started the second half strong, becoming more confident on the ball and stringing together good passes. A couple of minutes in, this paid off for Premier as Lance Beyers gathered the ball on the left wing, and with a bit of luck, levelled the score after drilling a ball across the face of the goal which was turned in by Matroos’ own, Ashley Hendricks.
The level scores did not last very long as Matroos won a freekick in a dangerous position. Captain Reagan Faro fired one close to the keeper, who parried the ball back to the centre of the 6-yard box, leaving an open net for Gamieldien to tap in an easy goal, restoring their advantage to 2-1.
After their second goal, Matroos resorted to playing on the counter. They eventually doubled their lead with Gamildien completing his hat trick, pouncing on the second ball. Premier’s woes did not end there as their goalkeeper was subsequently sent off for dissent towards the referee, leaving his team down 2 goals and without a keeper.
With 7 minutes left Premier managed to pull one goal back as Beyers collected the ball on the edge of the box and quite brilliantly placed it past the reach of the Matroos’ keeper. Ultimately this goal came too late and Matroosfontein won the match 3-2.
Matroosfontein went home as the Regional Nedbank Cup Champions of 2023 with heads held high for the next round.