6 June 2018 – Tornado FC coach, Tshepo Motshoeneng, asked one of his technical staff members to pour water into his hands after the match official had blown the final whistle on Tuesday afternoon (5 June 2018) in their 2-2 draw against The Dolphins FC at the ABC Motsepe League National Playoffs currently underway at the University of Limpopo in Turfloop.
And that’s because Motshoeneng wanted to splash it across his face, so that it could serve as a disguise for the tears which were on the verge of pouring out of his already red eyes.
What drove Motshoeneng to such an intense emotion was the undeniable fact that his team had failed to be one of the best three teams of three groups to automatically qualify for the semi-final stages of the competition, following their two consecutive draws.
Tornado played to a 0-0 draw against Buya Msuthu in their first match on Monday (4 June), before they were held to a 2-2 draw by The Dolphins the following day.
“According to the rules of the competition, no team is allowed to leave until all teams who are to progress to the semi-finals are confirmed,” Motshoeneng said. “All we can do now is hope that either Dolphins or Buya Msuthu lose or play in 0-0 draw, and then cross our fingers to go through the semi-final stages as best runners ups of the three groups.”
However, the possibility of that happening seems unlikely for Tornado. And that could be the explanation why Motshoeneng wept after that match.
His side will finish as runners up of their group should either Buya Msuthu or The Dolphins win their Wednesday’s (6 June) clash against each other because, but not second best of all three groups in the tournament who are in pursuit of a semi-final spot.
The reason is that Umvoti and Steenberg in Group B and Maccabi and TS Sporting in Group C have won their respective first matches, meaning that the best runner-up side of these three groups can only come out from the four sides.
In other matches, TS Sporting FC secured a 1-0 win in their first match, knocking Magareng Young Stars out of the playoffs, while Steenberg United lost by the same margin in their last game of the tournament against Umvoti FC.
ABC Motsepe League National Playoffs Day One results