There has been a regeneration of enthusiasm in camp. A lot of work is being done with Steve Komphela in both our attacking game and defensively. This has been evident in the games against both Maritzburg United and Bloem Celtic. Another week has passed and that means 7 more days of working on improving elements of our game both offensively and defensively. A lot of strategy has been done in pin-pointing aspects of Black Leopards game that can be taken advantage of. The team is confident ahead of the fixture, but know that Black Leopards will be dangerous after their 3 game winning run of late.
The boys committed to each and every defensive play in the half, literally putting their bodies on the line as we fought to keep the Birds from netting in the first stanza. We on the other hand, did not create as many chances as we wanted and this was one of Coach Ncikazi’s points at the break. We came back with a better fight in the second half, and the commitment showed in our play. A tactical change was made with Mtshali replacing Sibiya, bringing some fluidity to our game.
The incentive for them to secure the win on Sunday is great, as it will keep them in contention to win the competition this year. This will make them dangerous competitors at Sugar Ray Xulu. We would like to encourage you to get to the stadium. Entrance is free and the gates are open to anyone who would like to come and watch. A confident Black Leopards host us on Saturday night as we meet them in the ABSA Premiership at Thohoyandou Stadium at 20h15. With two games already under the belt in the new year, and 4 points taken from them, the team will be looking to break Leopards run on Saturday night and return to Durban with all 3 points.
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This game plan worked well, with Sibiya and S. Dube pushing up well and feeding some clean balls to the box. We were unfortunate on a number of occasions not to benefit from the play. It was off one of these attacking moves that Lamola was bought down in the box, and the referee awarded a penalty to us.
We went to half time trailing by a goal to zero. We had a better second half even though we lost too much possession from our left side with Lunga the main culprit. We dominated the second half completely and had a few clear cut chances to equalize and we failed to score. The biggest chance in the match was when Dube was fouled inside the box and we got a penalty.
A penalty was awarded to the visiting team and Musonda converted that to equalise. After the break both sides fought hard to find an opportunity to take the lead. Ntsako Makhubela put an effort wide after shooting on the turn, Mutizwa was denied a number of times by King Ndlovu between the sticks as well. We showed determination in securing a win, but could just not convert the chances. Losing Sibisi to injury also put some pressure on the defence. In the first minute of extra time, we conceded a free kick just outside the box.
We would however like to have our supporters in the stands to get behind the team for the game. A very difficult match to a CTC team that always wants to play from the back with lots of capable technical players. Their profile of is not far from our profile. Both teams showed lots of similarities. The glaring one was the high pressing game where the team in possession lost the ball and immediately applied pressure to stop possible counter attacks. We were more aggressive in our pressing game. We pressed till the last minute. A sign that our team is well conditioned. In moments where we needed to play, we played good attacking football. We finished the first half with no problems except composure in our finishing.
Lidoda Duvha have enjoyed wins against SuperSport United, Baroka and Amazulu and are brimming with confidence ahead of the game. This could have either a positive or negative affect on the side depending on how they handle it. Their winning run has seen them gain some place on the log, and sit just a position below us on 11th. The game should be an entertaining one to watch. You can catch it live on SuperSport 211 or follow us on our social media platforms for play-by-play posts.
Unfortunately, 10 minutes later we once again conceded a goal. Some confusion on defense saw the ball deflected for an own goal off a shot from Mngomezulu. The boys never gave up and continued to fight until the last seconds of optional time. The last play of the game was Mmodi denied by the woodwork to secure a win. The team and technical staff must return to Durban and resolve any issues identified in our play before we meet AmaZulu for a Derby match at Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium on September 22nd.
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With full time fast approaching the pressure play from Maritzburg increased and paid off for them as replacement Theron pulled one back for them. It was just not enough for United and after 3 minutes of additional time, we secured the first home win of the season. We kick off the DSTV Premiership 2021/22 season tomorrow with a home Derby match against Maritzburg United at Princess Magogo Stadium. After having got the 2021/22 season underway last weekend in the MTN8, Coach Seema has had an opportunity to view and assess his players in pressure situations and stated at the launch of the season this week that the team ‘will continue to work hard’ This is in reference to continuing the form that saw us end last season at 4th on the log.
Kick-off will be 15h30. It will be an important 3 points to secure, as we sit 7th on the log presently, but a game ahead of 4 of the other sides. So, to be able to maintain the position, the side are going to have to play a solid 90 minutes for the win. Coach Steve Komphela has set objectives for every 5 league games with an objective of achieving a certain number of points. A home win would go a long way in achieving this and the team will be well prepared for the game plan for the weekend. Sitting 3 positions above us, at 4th, Polokwane City will also be wanting a favourable result from the game. They have lost their last two outings in the ABSA Premiership which have both been away games.
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