16 May 2018 – With the COSAFA Cup and ABC Motsepe Play Offs set for Limpopo next month, the beautiful city of Polokwane is also hosting the VW SAFA Challenge. This past weekend saw the top eight Limpopo ABC Motsepe League finishers competition in the quarter finals. SAFA.net looks at some of the highlights.
Bucks is a goalkeeper’s nightmare
The Dolphins centre back and captain Walter “Bucks” Chuma is a constant menace in front of goal. He is widely considered one of the best dead-ball specialists in the province and on Saturday he reiterated why he is considered as such when he saved the champions from an embarrassing goalless draw with three minutes to 90 minutes.
Moments after missing a penalty which he ballooned into the skies, the champions were awarded a free-kick a couple of yards outside the box.. He unleashed a ferocious right footed strike which just only rose to skip the wall in front of him and dipped immediately into the bottom right of the post.
Ndengeza FC are genuine contenders for the VW SAFA Challenge
A superb start to the Limpopo ABC was followed by a dismal mid-season performances which put the pressure on the coach Genola Mashele who was running out of options at the Giyani Stadium. Throwing away winnable games became a norm for KaTika as they surrendered their top spot.
Ndengeza managed to turn things around a bit and had a much improved run of results towards the end of the season and looked like the Ndengeza of the early 2017/18 season we knew. With 23 minutes to go during their game against Great North, the game was abandoned due to visibility issues, the light illumination wasn’t enough for a football match to play. Ndengeza were already leading 4-0 thanks to Senior Maluleke, Nhoko Baloyi and a double from former Jomo Cosmos striker Raymond Maluleke.
The champions didn’t convince enough
In the build-up to the tournament’s kick-off, the champions were tipped to prove to the province they have all it takes to represent the province with much better improved performances than last year. Dolphins went on to have a forgetful outing against the possession obsessed Polokwane United.
For 80 minutes or so, their only serious threats came as a result of set-pieces and they made the most of them when their captain fired them to a 1-0 victory with only 3 minutes to go.
Ndengeza’s 12th man on the stands
The Oscar Mphetha stadium grandstand was painted red on Saturday by the KaTika supporters donning their team’s primary colour.
With his first in the first few seconds just after kick-off, Ndengeza FC speedy winger Matimu Tshabalala bought the fans into frenzy with some slick fancy footwork. Tshabalala went on to have one of the best games of the season.