‘TEAMOF CHOICE’ HOLDOFF UNITED

All still to play for in sec­ond leg semi-fi­nal in Mar­itzburg

The Sunday Independent - - SPORT - MOHAU RAMASHIDJA

Lu­cas Moripe Sta­dium

Lack of deadly fin­ish­ing and ac­cu­racy in front of the goal was an Achilles heel for ei­ther sides.

Bradley Grob­ler was pre­sented with a de­cent chance in the 34th minute fol­low­ing a sweet cross from Thuso Phala on the near side.

His header, though, didn’t trou­ble the keeper one bit as it went straight into Bon­gani Mpan­dle’s hands.

Four min­utes be­fore that at­tempt on goal, the “Team of Choice” had weaved a nice in­ter­play from the halfway line press­ing to­wards goal, but it was the fin­ish­ing of Le­bo­hang Maboe which left the away side dis­ap­pointed as his shot went a whisker wide from the goal­mouth.

Things, how­ever, took a dif­fer­ent turn in the sec­ond pe­riod of the match.

Tin­kler’s men took early charge of it, scor­ing an early goal through Phala’s thun­der­bolt shot.

The left winger blasted the ball home af­ter re­ceiv­ing a su­perb pass in­side the box un­marked.

That goal helped Mat­sat­santsa a Pi­tori to set­tle down a bit.

Tin­kler, who was pac­ing up and down quite of­ten in the first half, could af­ford mo­ments of sit­ting down ev­ery once in a while as the game pro­ceeded.

Davids, on the other hand, was the ex­act op­po­si­tion of Tin­kler’s calm de­meanour.

The Mar­itzburg coach was bel­low­ing in­struc­tions onto the pitch each time his team were on or off the ball.

He was try­ing to get them back into the game, hop­ing that they would score an equaliser lead­ing up to Satur­day’ sec­ond leg en­counter against the Tsh­wane side at Harry Gwala Sta­dium.

His never-say-die at­ti­tude helped his side to get back into it.

The team of Choice kept on press­ing for­ward, try­ing to de­ci­pher a Su­per­Sport side who were now play­ing de­fen­sively in an at­tempt to pro­tect their lead.

And Mar­itzburg were able to do that.

Evan Rusike played a sweet pass to Maboe, who was in a good po­si­tion to take a shot to­wards goal.

And when he did that, Ron­wen Wil­liams could only catch its shadow. THE Sharks won this in­trigu­ing Cur­rie Cup match 21-20 at New­lands but for most of the sec­ond half it seemed that a com­bi­na­tion of Western Prov­ince ob­sti­nacy on de­fence and poor fin­ish­ing by the vis­i­tors would mean a home vic­tory.

The Sharks were ul­ti­mately de­served win­ners but in a sec­ond half played al­most en­tirely in WP ter­ri­tory, they seemed to be do­ing their best to self-de­struct as they squan­dered op­por­tu­nity af­ter op­por­tu­nity, with the score locked on 20-14 to Prov­ince un­til a dra­matic try by Inny Radebe in the 75th minute was con­verted by a com­posed Rhyno Smith, who nailed the kick from the cor­ner.

Prov­ince coach John Dob­son will won­der why his team could not get out of their half af­ter hav­ing had their fair share of dom­i­nance in a very even first half. The home side seemed re­signed to de­fend for the sec­ond 40 while the Sharks ham­mered away and ei­ther made

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