The Safa Cape Town Coke Cup is back on track following a disruption to the tournament last season.
The tournament is played over boys’ under-18, senior men’s and senior women’s divisions.
Each year the tournament sees more than 500 clubs from across the city taking part. The competition was last played in 2019. Woodlands FC are the senior men’s defending champions, UCT were the winners of the women’s division and the boys’ under-18 division was won by Vasco Da Gama.
The round of 256 kicked off with Cape Town Spurs thrashing Shining Stars 17-0 in the under-18 division, at the Rooikrans sports complex, in Grassy Park, on Sunday.
Hout Bay United Football Community’s under-18 side came back from a 2-0 trail at half-time, to win 5-2 at the end of the game, against Oasis Football Club, at Rooikrans.
Hout Bay coach, Xolela Ndude said they were complacent in the first half and had to switch tactics in the second half in order to outplay the confident South Peninsula LFA side.
“We made it hard for ourselves. We thought a lack of discipline would win us the game. When the opponents scored two goals, at half-time we had to wake up. I told the team this is a situation we don’t want to be in. From here we’ll take it one game at a time,” said Ndude.
South Peninsula LFA side Ariel Spurs’ under-18 side played to a 3-0 loss to Man Power, from the Gugulethu LFA. Their senior side narrowly lost 1-0 to KTC All Stars from the Nyanga LFA, at Rooikrans.
Ariel Spurs coach, Rowan Essex, said the club, founded by his father, Desmond Essex, in 2010, took the defeats as a learning curve to build character for their young squads.
“It was a good game against Man Power. Majority of the boys are under-16, we only had three official under-18 boys. We wanted to give them an experience and they gained valuable experience.
“The senior team was very unlucky. We had most of the possession. KTC All Stars scored very early and closed down. I told them they can keep their heads up and take this opportunity as a learning curve,” said Essex.
Meanwhile, Nyanga LFA side, Belinda Kings under-18, stunned an experienced Mitchell’s Plain LFA side, Rock-A-Fellas with a 4-2 penalty win after a 0-0 stalemate at full-time, at Nyanga Stadium.
Belinda Kings right winger, Thabiso Mbambo fractured his wrist after losing his balance from a 50/50 challenge in the air.
Club president, Sbusiso Nkosi commended the youngster for his strength, his team’s performance and Rock-A-Fellas for their sportsmanship, after their first Coke Cup game since the club’s inception a couple of years ago.
“The game, as much as we had a serious injury, possession wise, we were much better. The boys were under fatigue since they last played in June because of the Covid-19 restrictions. Rock-A-Fellas were also a good team, they had some chances where they were supposed to punish us. With penalties, the game can go either way. And it went our way,” said Nkosi.Under-18 team manager at Rock-A-Fellas, Adenaan Sonday was impressed with his team’s performance despite losing on the penalties.
“Both teams performed well in what was a very fair game.. At times the football was brilliant. The result at the final whistle was evident to that. Unfortunately this pandemic has dampened much of our aspirations for the season going forward. Our aim at Rock A Fellas is to build on the off the field aspects of the lives of these boys and hopefully next year with the grace of the Almighty we can proceed with better planning and football,” said Sonday.
At Turfhall sports complex, Melchester United played to a 5-3 penalty win over Atlantic Nacional, following a 2-2 draw at the end of the match, in the under-18 division.
Coach at Melchester, Zaim Williams said they scored two good goals in the first half and relaxed in the second half, allowing Atlantic Nacional to equalise.
“Going into the next round, they must lift their heads up and take their opportunities because other opponents will punish us if we don’t take our chances,” said Williams.
At the ny49 sports complex, Cederpark, from the Mitchell’s Plain LFA outplayed Samora Celtics, from the Greater Philippi LFA, 3-0 to advance into the next stage of the Coke Cup.
Celtics coach, Siyanda Jucu said it was one of their best performances despite the loss considering they used a junior team for the senior division.
At Cravenby sports complex, CPUT played to a 2-0 win against District 6 in the senior division, allowing them to advance into the 128 round stage.
Safa Cape Town president, Bennet Bailey said they are happy to kickstart the championships, although they will have to adhere to the governments protocols, to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Football shall be played, but it shall be played responsibly,” said Bailey.
The women’s division will kick off their campaign with the last 16 stage late next month.