Day 1 of the 2017 ABC Motsepe National Play Offs got off to a great but highly tactical start with two matches taking place at the Buffalo City Stadium in East London.
The opening game of the tournament saw Free State side, Super Eagles take on Acornbush of Mpumalanga and the tightly contested affair ended in a 0-0 stalemate, while the second fixture between Buya Msuthu from the North West and Gauteng’s Maccabi FC failed to produce a winner as the finished 1-1.
Super Eagles were the first to ask questions after a good volley from Tshepo Morake in the 15th minute went narrowly wide of goal to the relief of Acornbush.
The Free State side were surprisingly dominant against their more fancied opponents with their neat interchange of passes that caused serious problems for Acornbush.
Despite enjoying the lion’s share of ball possession, Eagles failed to convert the numerous chances they created, with nippy forward, Nosi being the main culprit as he wasted many opportunities.
Acornbush also came close on a number of occasions but poor finishing resulted in most of their efforts not threatening Eagles keeper, Tshepo Rameale.
The Free State side could have grabbed all three points with the last kick of the match after a brilliantly taken free kick from the edge of the box was tipped over the bar by the keeper, and both sides settled for a draw.
Two goals were scored in the second match.
Maccabi FC was the first on the score sheet but they surrendered their lead with just 10 minutes to go.
The Gauteng side found the back of the net a few minutes before half time with a brilliantly taken header by Zanempi Methula, who connected with an inviting cross into the opposition goal area.
Msuthu went in search of the equaliser immediately after the break, with numerous shots at goal from outside the box. Their efforts were finally rewarded in the 80th minute when Sipho Khumalo showed composure in the box to restore parity for the match to end 1-1.
The North West side will be hoping for a better outcome on Day 2 when they face The Dolphins of KwaZulu Natal in a 15h00 kick off.
The first match of the day will see Acornbush face Maccabi FC at 12h30 while Super Eagles will have a bye.
Group B will be in action from Wednesday, 7 June.
ABC MOTSEPE LEAGUE NATIONAL PLAY-OFFS
DAY 1 RESULTS – Buffalo City Stadium:
Monday, 5 June 2017
Super Eagles 0 – 0 Acornbush
Buya Msuthu 1 – 1 Maccabi FC
DAY 2 FIXTURES – Buffalo City Stadium:
Tuesday, 6 June 2017
Acornbush vs Maccabi FC 12h30
Buya Msuthu vs The Dolphins 15h00
Day 1 Stats (Click here)