5 June 2018- Former Kaizer Chiefs and Bloemfontein Celtic player, Mokete Tsotetsi, chuckled uncontrollably when asked how hopeful he was of gaining National First Division (NFD) promotion, given the fact he has the experienced Collins Mbesuma, a former Kaizer Chiefs striker, in his 22-man squad.
And that’s because the Maccabi FC coach, whose side won 2-1 in their opening match in Group A of this year’s ABC Motsepe League National Playoffs against Magareng Young Stars FC on Monday, 4 June 2018 was simply trying to mask that very fact.
The competition are taking place at the University of Limpopo in Turfloop.
In truth, the retired 35-year old central defender would give anything to see his side playing alongside the likes of Ajax Cape Town, Platinum Stars and Jomo Cosmos in the next NFD season.
And that’s why he came to this year’s national playoffs with a master plan he hopes will work out just fine.
“I’m very happy with the three points we got. This game was a nerve breaker for us. Each team came here nervous, opting to play cautious football in their first game in order to protect their goalmouth. The players as well, were also anxious. I’m very happy with my boys, though. They played really well,” said Tsotetsi.
“Our approach for these national playoffs is pretty simple – we want to win every single game we play. We only need to win three games of this whole tournament and we are through to the final, (which will guarantee them a place into the NFD next season).”
However Tsotetsi, who opted not to even have Mbesuma showing up in their first game of the playoffs, admitted that it will take a fight and a half to see them realising that dream, as all the teams in the playoffs share similar ambitions.
“Sure we want it, however, we cannot dare and start undermining other teams at the moment,” added Tsotetsi.
“Each team that’s here, they are here mainly because of merit. They are champions of their respective provinces and that’s why we’ll have to fight really hard against any side we come across. That’s the only and best way to go about it.”
In other matches, Steenberg United also secured their first win of the playoffs in Group B, following a solid performance which saw them scoop a 1-0 win against Mangaung Unite, while both Buya Msuthu and Tornado FC played to a goalless draw in Group C.
ABC Motsepe League National Playoffs:
Day One results – Monday, 4 June 2018
Maccabi FC 2 1 Mareng
Steenberg United 1 0 Mangaung Unite
Buya Msuthu FC 0 0 Tornado FC
|LOG STANDINGS – DAY 1|
|Magareng Young Stars||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|