Tag: abc motsepe

Goalless draw in Paarl heat

The ABC Motsepe League in the Western Cape commenced with week 5 this past weekend and we took the trip to Mbekweni Sports Field in Paarl where Batalion FC played host to Grassy Park Utd.

The home side, now coached by Boebie Solomons, have recorded 2 wins before this encounter and boasts one of the better defensive records in the league only conceding 2 goals in their matches played. Solomons would’ve expected this record to be challenged as the visitors have netted 13 goals in their 4 matches played and it comes as no surprise as Grassy Park have assembled quite an experienced squad this year.

Coach Theo Hempe, back at GP after having been dismissed in the 2017/2018 season returns this season and heads a star-studded squad with the likes of Jerry Mxabo, Roysten Rhoda and Tshepiso Tlhapi who offer years of experience to the unit. Not forgetting the younger playmakers like Craig Joemath, Luke Vester and Fawaaz Bassadien.

Describing the weather as hot on Saturday in Paarl would be an understatement as the sun seemed to be stationary and with no accompanying wind to mention. The match however started at a high tempo with Batalion showing the ascendancy and forcing the away side to defend for the 1st quarter of the match.

The home side managed to place the ball in the GP net but celebrations were cut short as the far side assistant had his flag raised for an offside. Batalion were outnumbering their opponents in the midfield as GP’s Waseem George and Jerry Mxabo were positioned as twin strikers while Nazier Jacobs laid quite deep, leaving Luke Vester on his own to deal with the approaching Batalion playmakers.

The home side were efficient in their attack and owning more possession of the ball with Aphiwe Mkuzo and Siyabulela Mbenenge creating opportunities in front of goal. GP were guilty of a too slow build up from the back in the first 25 mins of the half and had to do quite a share of defending during that time.

The last 20 mins of the half was more balanced as GP got the ball to their front players quicker than before and either of their strikers got closer to the midfield causing them to create combinations and get the ball out wide where the crosses were delivered from.

Fawaaz Basadien from GP showed his class as he eased past defenders to create opportunities while his teammate Craig Joemath showed his attacking capabilities as he started a few attacks from his position at left-back.

Just before the halftime break Batalion’s Mbenenge saw his free-kick attempt, which was just inside the GP half, hit the crossbar and cleared by the opponent’s defence.

From the restart, it was evident that both coaches influenced the match by their tactical changes. For Solomons, his team started playing the quickest route to the front two who were applying pressure on the GP centre backs. The long pass was delivered behind the defence into space with the front strikers of Batalion running onto the end of the pass. They were unfortunately not able to capitalize as the defensive pair of Rhoda and Tlhapi stood firm and cut out any danger.

For Hempe, his team were now looking to use the width of the pitch and with the introduction of Thurlo Wood at wide left, caused many problems for the Batalion defence. Wood could consider himself unlucky not to earn his side a penalty as his turn of pace saw him fouled inside the penalty area but the man in the middle called it as no foul.

The rest of the half had action on both ends of the pitch but neither of them could make them count. The visitors were awarded a penalty late in the 2nd half when Yusuf Abrahams was adjudged to be brought down in the penalty area of Batalion. Basadien missed his attempt as he hit the crossbar with the goalkeeper diving in the opposite direction.

Batalion had the last attack but failed to convert and saw the match end in a goalless draw.

Summer Round up – Part 2

The 2nd division had its own drama this season from sprinklers disturbing matches to lights failing or being switched off. The Magic were favoured for taking the league this season but after suffering their first loss to Morning Stars in game 7, it took them 4 matches to get back to winning ways and by that time Steenberg had already caught up.

The top 5 ended with all the big guns in the league like Zizwe United, Glendene United, Ikapa Sporting and of course The Magic who ended 2nd. One of the highlights for The Magic was reaching the last 16 in the Nedbank Cup where they lost to Kaizer Chiefs 3-0 after taking the PSL team to extra time.

Glendene revived their season after the return of Coach Bradley August from HBUFC while Ikapa Sporting, led by Coach Nasief Morris and assisted by Coach Theo Hempe finished off better than the previous year, from 12th to 5th.
Zizwe could only manage 10 wins during the 2018/19 season but this year they only suffered 3 losses, a major improvement.

Both teams which were relegated this year were franchises bought at the start of the season. Ocean View purchased the D&G Orient franchise while Mbekweni Cosmos bought the Ace FC franchise. One would assume that their plans didn’t work out or maybe the league was underestimated. It is clear though that there is a major disparity between teams when it comes to financial resources as the community-based teams continue to utilize the youth at their disposal while the financially sound continue to recycle players.

Picture cred: Rashied Isaacs

With both Steenberg Utd and The Magic out of the league, there are many teams who can list themselves as favourites next season. The likes of Glendene, Ikapa Sporting, and Zizwe are regularly probing for the top spot and next year might be their season but they would have to be wary of the newcomers like Ubuntu and newly promoted Young Pirates, not forgetting others who will seize the opportunity to assert themselves for the playoff spot.

Summer Round Up – Part 1

With both the SAFA 3rd division and 2nd division all done and dusted we take a look at what was what in the 2 local Cape Town respective leagues.

The 3rd division was probably the toughest it’s been for a long time with no specific team dominating the league. Young Pirates clinched the title with only 58 points which is a low tally compared to previous seasons where the same point total would get a team a 2nd place on the log.

A few teams were in and out of the top 5 but it was clear that Pirates and Matroosfontein were the pacesetters with Greenwood keeping in touch. Both Pirates and Matroos were newcomers to the league this season after winning promotion from the playoffs and together with Nova Nacional were part of a group of new teams who made their presence felt in their first season.

The participation of Cape Town City this season was a cause of curiosity as many were wondering about the team make up and asking if the PSL club would make an impact on the local 3rd division. A development tool for City, the team showed promise and excitement in the friendly matches preceding the season but unfortunately, the lack of experience seemed to be their Achilles heel.

This year proved to some that this league is not easily won and it takes more than just pitching up on a match day and expecting to win as teams with fewer resources can make an impact.

A total of 771 goals were scored in 480 matches for the season and many teams displayed some entertaining football. We also had a few comebacks like Kuilsriver who clawed their way up from the drop zone only to be relegated after DC ruling had 12 points deducted from them. Other teams like Goal 50, Cape Town City, Rebels, and Bluegum United managed to survive and were often in the relegation cauldron.

With Ubuntu FC being relegated from the NFD, the possible ripple effect for the 3rd division meant that more than the usual 2 teams could be relegated but fortunately both Steenberg United and Young Pirates won their respective playoffs, meaning that only 2 teams were dropped from the league.
Those 2 teams were Bayview FC, who are the current Coke Cup champs and Kuilsriver.

Final day – SAB League

This weekend sees the conclusion of the SAFA 3rd Division (SAB LEAGUE).
The past 2 weeks we’ve witnessed a turnaround and shift in log positions due to DC rulings which had not only points deducted but also added to affected clubs.

This has caused Young Pirates, who were leading the log, to drop to second as Matroosfontein benefited with the addition of points and now head the log with 1 game to go.

Effectively 3 clubs are in the running for the league on the final day. Matroosfontein lay in 1st place with 57 points while both Young Pirates and Hanover Park are 2 points adrift.

Hanover Park is probably the outside bet as they need to win their match against Greenwood and also depend on the top 2 to lose their matches. There are various scenarios which could result in any of the top 3 taking the title however, Matroosfontein holds their own destiny in their hands and if they win their final match against Cape Town City, they win the league.

The bottom half has just much tension as clubs play for their survival and with the drop of Ubuntu to the ABC Motsepe League having an effect on the lower leagues, it will be more than the standard 2 teams who will be relegated.

The number of teams who will be relegated will be confirmed after the 2nd division for NFD playoff and the 3rd division for ABC Motsepe playoff. If Steenberg United and the SAB League winner both get through the playoffs, fewer teams will be dropped from the SAB League.

Kuilsriver AFC who were the worst affected by the DC Rulings are bottom of the log and they will be relegated after Saturday’s match. The bottom sides all have tough encounters on Saturday and a few unexpected results are on the cards as clubs fight till the last day to secure their status.

What an exciting end to a crazy season where the log table was close through the year. Last season FN Rangers won the league with 70 points and the last team in that season finished with 18 points, compared to this season where the 60 point mark can win the league and the last team can end with 31 points. Proof of how tight it was this year.

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.

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.

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.

Motsepe League on break

This weekend sees a break in the ABC Motsepe League in the Western Cape as the Nedbank knockout competition continues with quarterfinals being played in Gugulethu.

Only four matches have been played in the league so far so its way too early to make any real sort of prediction for the eventual winners this season. Sure, there are favourites and many will back their chosen team but we thought we’d make a comparison to last year’s log positions. Let’s take a look at the current top 5.

Starting with the top spot where The Magic have replicated their good start of last year. In week 4 last year The Magic were in top spot with 10 points whereas this year they’ve done a bit better with 12 points from 4 games. This season the squad has been boosted with signings that ooze quality and experience with the likes of Howard Davids, Nazier Jacobs , Gregory Roelf and Shaheed Abrahams to name a few.

Boebie Solomons gets a fresh start to the season with his Santos team after joining them during the season last year. Having the pre season with the squad has already reaped its benefits as this time last year Santos was in 9th spot whereas this season sees them in 2 spot with the same amount of games played. The Santos faithful will be hoping their team can revive into the giant they once were before.

Glendene are always in the top 5 mix especially in the start of their campaign. In 3rd spot they’ve managed 2 wins and same amount of draws but need to up the goal scoring rate if they want to contest for the title. The team has managed a better start this year and will look to improve their results to stay in contention.

Current champions, Steenberg United are fourth on the table and also better off than last season. At the same time last year Steenberg were in eighth place with three draws and one win whereas this time they are four places higher with two draws and two wins. We all know Steenberg to be a team which pushes till the end and you can count on them to fight tooth and nail to defend their title.

Second year for Royal Blues in the league and the team from Beaufort west are holding 5th spot with a slightly better goal difference than sixth placed HBUFC. Last season the Blues were in seventh place after four matches and ironically have the same amount of points this season but are placed two places higher. Their goal difference is where it counts as this season they’ve scored more and conceded less.

Another factor to remember is that last year saw many games drawn that should have been won by some teams. Also no team was really consistent besides the eventual league winners and that is key to this season. Whoever can maintain a positive stream of results will more than likely be sitting at the top come end of season.