Playing with no less than two international players, Banyana striker Leandre Smeada and Basetsana midfielder Amogelang Motau, UWC women’s team proved too strong for defending champions RV United, beating them 2-1 in this year’s Safa Cape Town Coke Cup final, at Athlone Stadium, at the weekend.
The champions, relied on the raw talent of their players but their opponents were going to have the upper hand as their depth meant they had a larger pool of players to choose from.
Teenage sensation Zelda Fransman, a pupil at Bellville South’s Kasselsvlei Technical High School caused problems for the defending champions in the first half.
However, they were up against the champions who had equally good players, able to turn any game on its head at any given time.
Playing with the wind at their backs, UWC did all the running in the first half, camping in their opponents’ half. However, they found RV to be strategic in thier approach letting the ball do all the running.
With their creative midfielders trying to control the engine room, UWC tried to create chances but their opponents’ goalie Roslind Aguilera and her defence stood firm.
The students, however, finally got the opener midway through the first half, thanks to Abongile Dlani.
To their credit, the champs kept on attacking their opponents on the counter using their skillful wingers and, eventually, they were rewarded with a cracker of a goal from outside the area.
The sides went to the half-time with the scores at 1-all. Not much separated the sides in the second half and it took vice captain Motau’s late strike to give UWC a 2-1 win.
The students were impressive in this year’s competition, winning their matches convincingly. They booked their place in the final after recording a 4-0 win against Nyanga’s Ikamva Women’s FC in the semi-final, in Belhar, last week. Coach Nathan Peskin made it clear ahead of the final that, despite finding it easy to secure a spot in this year’s final, they had to remain focused. “We can’t take anything for granted. We have a big squad and that helped us in terms of selecting the best possible team. That may have been the difference between us and our opponents,” said Peskin.
However, Peskin said he was aware that his opponents in the final were a different kettle of fish. The two sides know each other very well as they both compete in the Sasol League, and, says Peskin, his players needed to be on top of their game on Saturday. And, they did up their game playing with more purpose.
“We are playing against a very good footballing side who are reigning champions.
They are also doing well in the league and that means we can’t afford to lose focus on the day. But, for sure, it is going to be a great football match between the two football-playing sides,”he said then.
RV coach Vuyolwethu Kayi admitted that their opponents had a strong squad, both on the field and also on the bench.
Describing it as a good open cup final, Kayi noted that UWC’s experience was the difference between the two sides on the day.
In other action, veteran Young Pirates striker Royston Lindsay scored his fourth goal in two matches when he netted the winner in his side’s 1-0 victory against Helderberg’s Two For Joy in this year’s Coke Cup final, at Athlone Stadium on Saturday.
The lanky forward was also on point in the semi-finals, where he almost single-handedly eliminated Mitchell’s Plain’s Beacon Spurs with a brilliant hat-trick to secure Pirates’ spot in Saturday’s final.
In the under-18 division, Glendene United beat champions Masidlale Academy 1-0. They opened the scoring early in the first half. The defending champions pressed hard for the equaliser but could not break through.