2 August 2019 — Gauteng will take on host province, the North West, in today’s SAFA/SAB U21 League National Championship semi-final clash today at the North West University sporting grounds in Mahikeng at 12h00.
Both sides qualified for the knockout rounds of this competition following impressive showings in their respective group matches. Gauteng finished top of Group B, managing three wins and a draw; while the North West finished second in Group A with one win and three draws.
In this encounter, Gauteng will have to be mentally strong if they are to get past a hurdle that is the North West. The hosting provincial team has been enjoying an impressive turnout of home supporters who have been spurring them on to do well in every encounter they participated in it.
Gauteng will also have to manage the movements of pacy winger, Omphile Shuping, who has been wraith in human form each time he took off on the wing in their group fixtures. Shuping can play both on the left and right hand side of the field in midfield.
North West Province coach Gideon Noge stated that he was looking forward to the encounter, adding that he had a group of talented and versatile players who do the job for him.
“Our goal is to see ourselves reaching the final,” Noge said. “That is a target we had initially set out for ourselves and we are just glad that we were able to perform like we did in our group fixtures.”
“It would mean a great deal to us if we win this tournament.”
In the other match, Group A winners Mpumalanga will take on Group B runners up Western Cape.
Mpumalanga coach Silver Gumede admitted that the group fixtures had not been easy, however, his side will fight to the end to reach the final.
“Our last group match (against the North West) was not easy. Our boys worked really hard, however, we just could not score in that 0-0 draw. However, what I can tell you is this,” Gumede added. “This team will fight to the end to book their place in the final. That is our goal.”