THE LEAGUE RACE
Any football critic will mention inconsistency as the biggest challenge to winning a league title race. Our record shows that this has been our unfortunate pattern thus far given the recent encounter.
This past week was a classical example of such considering our performance during the Nedbank Cup clash in Polokwane and the Tuesday league game at the soccer city.
The two matches just summarized our inconsistency much to the disappointment of many that had expected a repeat of a four goal drubbing against the same team. Whilst we may be tempted to think that the second clash was probably the most painful one, I would like to differ and state that any loss in cup or league competition carries the same weight that cuts deep into the heart of any football-loving official, player and supporter.
Our fifteen minutes demolition of Black Leopards will best be remembered for the quickness with which it was executed and the fact that all four goals were scored by one player. I believe the same player could have added more had he stayed longer on the pitch as he completed perfect offensive moves that were engineered from all departments in the team.
This performance was awe-inspiring to secure our march into the quarterfinals of a tournament that has presented us with much drama of painful exits since its launch. Our next encounter is against an equally dangerous Free State Stars that has been registering victory in rapid succession. Their striking sensation Edward Manqele is the league’s current leading goal-scorer and he gets more lethal with every game. They also have the AFCON medal winning goal-minder in Kennedy Mweene to complement a strong team that will certainly give us a tough assignment when we meet at the Peter Mokaba Stadium later in the month.
Whilst one would have expected a repeat of the Nedbank performance, our loss to Black Leopards in the league encounter confirmed that the race is tough and requires a renewed strategy and approach. I believe our success will be determined by the hunger and focus on the pitch more than anything in the periphery.
Our visitors had clearly done their homework particularly in the defense. It was therefore not surprising to see their defender walking away with a man-of-the-match award after putting a spirited effort to thwart every single move we made.
We also travel to Rustenburg to face another challenging Platinum Stars to complete our drama-filled Easter weekend assignment. Our hosts have pulled many a surprise victory in their backyard and will surely want to continue at our expense.
With the number of league matches reducing, a slip at this juncture will see us rue another opportunity of challenging for league honours. Many top teams have recorded victories with others lurking dangerously close to topple those that may slip and slide to the ground.
It is therefore important that we redeem ourselves by sticking to our objectives that identified winning the premiership title as priority for the season. We should therefore put our loss behind and step into the Royal Bafokeng Stadium with determination to amass maximum points so that we remain in the top-four bracket of the log.
I would like to wish all our supporters a Happy Easter Holiday and encourage travelers to use our public roads with safety and consideration.
Kaizer Motaung (Mr.)