E Cup at home

Grocott's Mail - - NEW YEAR’S CUP -

Maru changed their tac­tics and tried to take the game to their op­po­nents.

With 10 men, Amavarara still had the bet­ter of the ex­changes and forced Maru to de­fend.

Just 18 min­utes from time, Maru put to­gether some neat and quick passes, crowned by a de­fence-split­ting through pass.

This found Mzox­olo Rafane, who caught out Amavarara's de­fence with his pace, to score the open­ing goal.

The sta­dium erupted as the home fans could not hide their ex­cite­ment. They ran on to the field, over­whelm­ing the se­cu­rity guards.

Amavarara re­sponded with a se­ries of at­tacks which were des­per­ately de­fended by the home side, and came close to find­ing the equaliser on nu­mer­ous oc­ca­sions.

The home side held on un­til the fi­nal whis­tle to the de­light of scores of home fans who had packed JD Dlepu for a great game of foot­ball.

Amavarara will go home with their heads held high, hav­ing given a good ac­count of them­selves.

Maru de­served the cup, es­pe­cially af­ter look­ing at their high work rate in try­ing to stop the well-oiled Amavarara ma­chine.

Amavarara coach, Mzu­nani Mg­wigwi, said he was happy at the way his side had played.

“We dom­i­nated the game, but I re­ally feel for my boys who played so well but still ended on the los­ing side. That is ex­actly how foot­ball is.

“We might have lost, but foot­ball was the big­gest win­ner to­day,” Mg­wigwi said.

Maru coach, Bon­gani Lombo, said it had been a tough and tac­ti­cal game for his side.

“We ab­sorbed a lot of pres­sure and we were also forced to make sub­sti­tu­tions due to in­juries,” Lombo said.

“We did not re­ally play in the first half, so I had to give them a se­ri­ous talk at half­time and re­mind them that the chance to play for such an amount of money does not come every day.

“Hats off to our op­po­nents: they re­ally played good foot­ball.

“I would also like to thank the peo­ple of Gra­ham­stown who set aside all the dif­fer­ences we have and sup­ported us to­day.”

Maru cap­tain, Andile Bobotyane was very ex­cited − “on cloud nine”.

Bobotyane ad­mit­ted that it had been a game of two halves.

“Our op­po­nents dom­i­nated the first half. We had to come up with a dif­fer­ent plan in the sec­ond half and we caught them with a counter at­tack,” Bobotyane said.

“I would like to thank all the peo­ple of this town who sup­ported us to­day and hope they will also do the same thing when we play league games.”

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