Bayhill Premier Cup – Delivering Action

So today is day 3 at the U19 Bayhill Premier Cup at Erica Park and we take a quick look at what’s been happening over the past 2 days.

Although the tournament is an institution on the football calendar it doesn’t come without its criticism from some quarters especially after the cancelling of last year’s event due to the water crisis.
The negativity is swiftly a memory as the tournament so far has delivered what majority of people attend the Bayhill for, and that is unpredictability, future stars, local participation, local competing against youth of the “big guns”, excitement and great vibe.

The football on display has been well worth the trip to Erica Park, which by the way is in good shape. The pitch has been a talking point but after day 2 it is still showing signs of holding up for the weekend. Obviously with the rigorous activity continuing it is expected to deteriorate everyday but let’s hope it stays intact.

Back to the football and some results which stand out include local club Silver Spurs holding Mamelodi Sundowns to a 0-0 draw. This was Spurs’ 2nd match after they beat Blackbirds Academy 2-0 the day before.
Wednesday night we witnessed a Mitchells Plain derby where Rocka a fellas were convincingly beaten by Beacon Spurs 4-0 while on Thursday, a Cape District derby delivered an unexpected result as Greenwood Athletic defeated Grassy Park United 1-0. Greenwood end the day on 6 points after recording a 2-0 win over Bayview FC on Wednesday.

Cape Town City didn’t have it easy against HBUFC but their individual quality shone through as they beat the Hout Bay side 2-0. Visitors Highlands Park delivered a good performance when they faced debutants Nova Nacional and won their game 3-0, while current champions Supersport recorded a 1-0 win against Jacaranda Callies.

Day 3 action kicks off at 3PM and promises to deliver more of the same and even better as the stakes are raised with teams fighting to book their place in the knockout stages.

See you there!!

3RD Division snap report – Joe Pillay

SAFA Cape Town’s SAB League season has been nothing short of entertainment and competitiveness. The 16-team league is approaching its closing stages with just under 10 fixtures remaining.

Topping the stands is Young Pirates with 43 points which could have been more had they not dropped two valuable points this past weekend in a 2-2 draw against Nova Nacional FC.

Fortunately for Pirates, their closest contenders, Matroosfontein FC were also held to a 1-1 draw by Rebels FC while third from the top, Greenwood Athletic also failed to capitalize on the top two sides’ draws as they went down by a 1-0 to Bellstar United.

A high scoring game took place between Junction Rovers and Two Oceans Academy as Rovers fought to a 6-4 victory in a 10-goal thriller at home.

Bluegum United had it all to do at home when they welcomed Goal 50 United who only managed to get one goal in a 3-1 loss against the hosts while Bayview FC edged Hanover Park by a 2-1 margin.

The fight for promotion to the ABC Motsepe League will be quite interesting in the next weeks leading up to the season’s conclusion.

National Referees Mid-season Workshop – Joe Pillay

The South African Football Association (SAFA) will host the National Referees Mid-season Workshop scheduled to run from 19 – 27 March 2019 in Kempton Park.

A total of 120 referees from across the country serving in the national panel will attend the gathering, where they will also run a Category One referees fitness test.

SAFA’s Head of Referees Department, Tenda Masikhwa, said this workshop was of utmost importance, as it will give his department a chance to address some key points in their referees’ individual performances.

“The purpose of this mid-season workshop is to go over our referees’ individual performances in matches they have served in since the beginning of this season,” said Masikhwa.

“This is very important because it will give us an opportunity to look at some of the positives they have produced as individuals, and what are other key areas they still need to improve on.”

He added that those who fail the fitness test, will be dropped from the national panel.

“In total, we are supposed to have 120 referees in our national panel,” added Masikhwa. “It also pleases me to state that we have more than the required number, which makes it really easy for us to replace should there be a need.

“We have a good number of referees ready to serve in the national panel, should any of the called upon 120 referees for this workshop fail to pass the fitness test.”

 

Bellstar fail to repeat positive result

On Saturday we popped in at Symphony way Sports field to catch some action between Bellstar United and Nova Nacional.

Bellstar recorded a great win in their previous match against log leaders Matroosfontein and probably felt very positive going into this encounter.

It was Nova though that had a near perfect start when Joshua Roman scored in the 4th minute off a set piece where the goalkeeper of Bellstar, Marlon Van Wyk, failed to collect the ball after miscommunication with his defenders. Roman took full advantage of the mishap and scored the opener.

With the home side trailing 1-0, they managed to settle back into the game and by the 20th minute the match was a bit more balanced. Bellstar also started asserting themselves with quick passing and great combinations with midfielder Ismail Lot doing a good job in linking with the attacking players.

Bellstar keeper Marlon Van Wyk taps the ball over the crossbar

Nova Nacional were forced to defend and attempt to capitalize on the counter as Bellstar created numerous opportunities but were unable to find the final pass and convert their chances.

The second half saw Nova with an improving performance as they worked on keeping Bellstar on the back foot. The introduction of Ramario Van De Meulen for the home side posed a headache for the Nacional defence especially for right back Keanan Green.

Van De Meulen displayed his pace off the ball as he managed to get behind the Nova defensive line on more than one occasion.

The home side were dealt a blow in the 35th minute of the second half when they had a defender red carded for committing a professional foul on Nova’s Adeeb Khan. With just the goalkeeper to beat, Khan was brought down just outside the box.

Angelo Barrote of Nova and Ismail Lot from Bellstar battle for possession

Bellstar still created some opportunities but were unable to find the equaliser and record their 6th loss of the season. Nova Nacional on the other hand continue their winning ways after beating Bayview FC the previous week and move to 7th spot on the log.

3rd Div – CatchUp!

A third of the season is done and things are just starting to heat up in the SAB League in Cape Town.

A few of the results of the past weekend were unexpected like, Bellstar beating current log leaders, Matroosfontein 2-1. This is only the 2nd loss for Matroos and makes them reachable for current title chasers, Greenwood Athletic and Junction Rovers.

Greenwood just scraped past Goal 50 Unite on Friday evening as they beat the Heideveld side 1-0, a goal courtesy of Nathan Brown. Junction Rovers got 1 past Cape Town City which elevated them into 2nd place 2 points behind the leaders but having played an extra match. Unfortunately for City, they’re placed 15th and everyone is waiting to see if the team will be reinforced to save their status. It is their first season in this SAB League.

Young Pirates who started the season like a house on fire dealt with Silver Spurs, winning 4-2, and got them back onto winning ways after suffering 2 losses before this encounter.

Spurs are placed 12th but the gap between them and the bottom teams are too close for comfort. Experienced in this league, they will know that improvement is required to relieve some pressure.

Hanover Park, who have coach Franklyn Davies back in charge played to a 2-2 draw with Cape Town United which keeps them in the top 5 and leaves United placed 10th.

The new Two Oceans are giving a good account of themselves in their first season as their victory against Rebels, 3-2, keeps them closer to mid table rather than in relegation danger whereas for Rebels, they are placed at 13th and only 5 points clear of the drop zone.

Kuilsriver continue their recovery after a slow start to the season and beat Bluegum United 3-1 on Sunday. Currently in 9th position, the Kuila team are on the up and playing with more confidence but Bluegum United are placed at the bottom of the log with only 1 win in 11 games.

The last match of the weekend also delivered an unexpected result where Bayview FC were beaten by Nova Nacional 1-0. A goal scored on time by substitute Pedro Marques. Although the Milnerton based side have improved in some parts of their game, they still remain inconsistent and at times not playing with any direction so the result against a Bayview side who were having a good run, is probably unexpected. With the loss Bayview lose out in entering the top 5 and are placed 6th, while Nova climb to 8th.

A big game to look forward to this weekend is probably Greenwood vs Young Pirates as both teams are hot on the heels of Matroosfontein.

Newcomers make their mark

Matroosfontein and Two Oceans doing battle in the Nedbank cup earlier this year

New comers Matroosfontein hold the top of the log position at the end of year break in the SAFA 3rd division.

The team earned their spot in the league via the promotion playoffs and have racked up the victories only losing 1 out of 8 matches played thus far.

When asked about his team’s log position, Coach Patrick had this to say

“We have been working hard and smart because it’s not easy to play in this league where you have to balance between age and youth. To keep players motivated we try to get every player on the field and still pick up points in that way I think they stay prepared to play and support each other. We don’t choose our games, every game is as important as the last one played”

Their results have proven that the above approach has worked for the newbies and some key scalps have been collected the way. Silver Spurs, Greenwood Athletic, Hanover Park and Junction Rovers all suffered losses to Matroosfontein. Heading into the new year Coach Patrick and his team will hope they can maintain their results and end their first season in league at the highest place possible.

The 2nd promoted team of last year Young Pirates have also had a positive start to their campaign. Pirates end up 2nd at the break and have been identified as one of the title chasers for this season. Their form hasn’t been consistent but they have the firing power up front and have the highest goals scored at 26 with Taahir Jumat netting 9 for his team and currently the top scorer in the league.

At the start of the season Pirates seemed unstoppable but with losses to Cape Town United and Junction Rovers, including a draw with Bluegum United, Coach Roger Fortune has to get his team back on track come January to keep their title aspirations alive.

Another new comer this year is Nova Nacional who purchased the Riverside Rangers franchise, end up mid table at the break. It’s now well known that the club has a strong financial backing and have huge aspirations for the club. The club has found the league tougher than planned and have already had 2 exits in management. Imraan Morgan was introduced as the General Manager when the club was started, exited early in the season while former head coach Vorgen Less was no longer in charge after their draw to Goal 50 Unite.

Top goalscorer Taahier Jumat of Pirates holding off Jayden Geduldt from Nova

Coach Mike Lukhubene has been assisting with training sessions at Nova as a temporary measure and the team has already had a good result, recording a hard earned win against Rebels.

The final new comer this season is Cape Town City who purchased the Atlantic Nacional franchise, who were relegated from the ABC Motsepe League last year. The team is filled with young talents and have already built a reputation of being disciplined in their style of play. City are currently in the drop zone and might have the element of experience missing from their squad.

This season has been competitive so far with only 6 points difference between last spot and mid table which means a good winning streak by any of the bottom teams can boost them into the top 8.

Thurlo supplies The Magic touch

Shaheed Abrahams of The Magic and Zaheer Abrahams form Greenwood tussle for possession

The much awaited Nedbank final between The Magic and Greenwood Athletic lived up to expectation on Saturday in front of a large crowd at Solo Street Sports field.

Both teams had to overcome tough opposition to get to the final from their respective leagues. The Magic defeated last year’s champions Steenberg United 1-0 while Greenwood travelled to Beaufort West where they beat Barcelona, Salim Utd and United Pirates.

The opening 15 mins saw The Magic playing with the wind and looking more dangerous in attack while Greenwood managed to maintain the pressure and even create a few counter attack opportunities.

The rest of the half was all action with entertaining football on display from both sides. Greenwood were the team taking the fight to their opponents with good quality combinations but were matched in defence by the experienced Magic side. The match was truly a spectacle with a real display of the ability of our local players, being represented on both sides.

On The Magic side players like Howard Davids who is a former NFD player (CT All Stars/ Richards Bay) and Nazier Jacobs a former PSL player (Polokwane City), had it tough against local boys like Chadley Philander, and Kyle Seegers in the middle of the park.
Seegers is a former Magic player while Philander is a former Ubuntu Academy player and also played at Grassy Park United last season.

At the end of the Greenwood attack was Mickyle George who put in a hard shift but was closely watched by Magic captain Tsepiso Thlapi who as usual delivered a top class performance.

By halftime the match was goalless but ended with Greenwood showing the ascendancy and the excited crowd were hoping for much of the same in the second half.

The next 45 mins was a different story as Greenwood Athletic failed to cope with the gusty wind for most of the half while the experience and class of their opponents was clear to see as they adapted better to the conditions. The Magic played almost every ball from the back and created opportunities up front. The defence of Greenwood stood firm as old foes Zaheer Abrahams and Mark Nefdt, who formed the centre back pairing, showed their ability and calmness under pressure to keep the Magic out.

The Magic managed to break the deadlock in the second half when Thurlo Moosa scored from a corner set piece and gave his team the upper hand for the remainder of the half.

Mark Nefdt the Greenwood captain and Danian Wareley from The Magic in action

The home side continued pushing for the elusive goal creating opportunities but the Magic keeper, Jaleel Johnson with his defence stood firm to keep Greenwood from scoring.

In the 42nd minute Greenwood had an opportunity to equalise when they were awarded a penalty as Kyle Adriaanse was adjudged to have fouled Mikyle George in the box. George immediately insisted on taking the spot kick but he struck the upright and with that was unable to get the equaliser.

The match ended 1-0 to The Magic and they are through to the last 32 in the competition.

Many of the Greenwood supporters left disappointed but proud of their team’s performance against a giant in local football. For The Magic another opportunity is earned to display their talents on the national stage.

Park & Nova share spoils

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.

Hanover Park Warming up

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.

Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup – Joe Pillay

It was joy all round at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) Stadium, Pretoria-West campus on Wednesday for John Ramsay High School (Western Cape) and Sibanesihle (KZN) as they became the first two teams to book their place in the semi-finals of the 2018 Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup national finals tournament.

Sibanesihle and John Ramsay are now guaranteed nothing less than R400,000 (which is the tournament’s fourth-place finish prize money), however, their eyes will be fixed on the ultimate cheque of R1 Million for the winners. Second and third place finishers will bank R600,000 and R500,000 respectively.

John Ramsay, who had a clean sweep in Group D, had previously made three provincial participations in the competition – while it’s their first in the national finals – hence coach Virgille Manuel says getting this far will make a huge difference for the school.

“This money will improve the facilities of the school,” Manuel said. “Before this tournament, we didn’t even have a kit but now we’ve got two. We are hoping to win and improve the infrastructure such as getting a pitch to practice, transport and new classrooms.”

Meanwhile, Sibanesihle who finished second in the provincial final to Ohlange, ensured that they booked their spot in the semi-finals with 7 points in group C, as they recorded one draw and two wins.

Coach Nkululeko Mbanjwa says he owes his team’s fortunes to the players’ dedication.

“We are happy to have qualified for the semis in our first attempt and we are looking forward to getting as far as we can,” Mbanjwa said.

ABC Back In Action

Picture by Rashied Isaacs

Teams in the ABC Motsepe League in the Western Cape are back in action this weekend following the Nedbank Cup knockout matches played over the past weekend.

Friday night has log leaders, The Magic, up against a young HBUFC at Old Mutual Sports field. Bradley August, HBUFC coach, will be very aware that his players have a tough assignment and they will more than likely apply themselves and deliver a hard working strategic performance as they usually do under his guidance. For Magic consistency will be the name of the game and a win ensures their hold on the top spot.

Ikapa Sporting travel to Gugulethu for a 7PM kick off on Friday night to square up against Steenberg United. The current champions are having their usual slow start to the season but will be favourites to end up winners in this one. Although Ikapa are performing well, with quality players, the challenge will be a huge one for the Mitchells Plain side.

Ajax Cape Town will host Glendene United as the away side look to maintain their position in the top five. Glendene will have to deal with The Young Ajax, who will make life extremely difficult with their pace and attacking play for the Cape District based club. The match kicks off at 7PM on Friday in Parow.

Nyanga stadium is the venue for the Zizwe vs Grassy Park match being played at 7:30PM. Grassy Park have really looked a different outfit compared to last season. A new coach and plenty of new faces on the pitch sees them struggling at the moment and an unusual log position must feel strange for the GP faithful. Zizwe have performed better in previous seasons while time is on both of these teams side as they look to obtain positive results. A draw is a possible outcome here.

Royal Blues travel from Beaufort on Saturday to meet Mbekweni Cosmos, Jomos Power make the trek from Atlantis to face a resurging Santos and Batalion welcome D&G Orient.

Although the D&G Orient name is on the fixture list, the team pitching up on Saturday will belong to the Ocean View Football Club.
D&G got involved in the ABC Motsepe League last season by way of taking over from Crystal Palace which is also based in Manenberg. After the legalities of having the name changed the team operated as D&G and was being run by them. The owner of the franchise has now sold to an Ocean View consortium and thus allowing them to take part in the league.

The Ocean View team will be coached by former pro Brent Carelse and more information on the team will follow next week.