04 October 2018 –A wide smile came across Mpumalanga coach’s face, Lindeni Shabangu, when she was asked about her side’s masterclass performance in their 7-0 win over the Northern Cape on Day Two (Wednesday, 3 October 2018) of this year’s SAFA U-19 Women’s Regional League Championship that is currently underway at the Nike Football Training Centre in Pimville, Soweto.
That result meant coach Shabangu’ side had just produced a two-out-of-two performance to increase their matches set to take place on Thursday, 5 October 2018.
That smile though, could only last for a brief moment. And that is mainly because Shabangu knows that her charges needs to avoid any possible defensive errors in their final Group B match against KwaZulu-Natal, as failure to do so, might see them fall short of reaching this year’s knockout stages of the tournament.
In order to make into the final four, Mpumalanga must avoid a defeat of 6-0 against KwaZulu-Natal. A draw or a win in that upcoming matchup will see them through into this year’s semis.
“I am very pleased with the performance my girls they gave on the day,” Chabangu said. “This was only just 50% of what I believe they can do on the pitch. The job is not yet done though. We still have KwaZulu-Natal for our final group game. It is still an open group and this is why we have to make sure we win that matchup in order to be safe.”
Asked what has been the driving force behind her side’s impressive performance in this tournament, Shabangu said: “Leading up to this tournament, I told my players that there would be people scouting for the national women’s Under-20 (Basetsana) squad. I made it very clear to them that this was their chance to shine. And that is why you see them fighting for one another whenever they are out there on the pitch.”
Day 2 Results – Tuesday 02 October 2018
Match 6: Free State 0, Western Cape 6
Match 7: Eastern Cape 2, KwaZulu-Natal 1
Match 8: Gauteng 3, Limpopo 1
Match 9: Mpumalanga 7 Northern Cape 0
Match 10: Western Cape 2, North West 0
Upcoming matches: Day 3, Wednesday 03 October 2018
Match 11: Free State vs. Limpopo, 10h00, Field B
Match 12: Gauteng vs. North West, 10h00, Field A
Match 13: Northern Cape vs. Eastern Cape, 11h30, Field B
Match 14: KwaZulu-Natal vs. Mpumalanga, 11h30, Field A
Match 15: Gauteng vs. Free State, 15h00, Field B
Match 16: Western Cape vs. Limpopo, 15h00, Field A