Vasco’s up-and-down run con­tin­ues

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT - MIKE DE BRUYN

CON­SIS­TENCY has never been one of Vasco da Gama’s strong suits; the Cape First Di­vi­sion club side has been plagued by this flaw for one too many sea­sons.

Vasco se­cured pro­mo­tion to the PSL in 2010 when they beat Black Leop­ards 2-1 (ag­gre­gate score 3-2) in the NFD promotional play-off in 2010.

But life in the top tier be­gan well for the Parow-based men: they fea­tured quite well in the first round of the league phase and seemed on track to hold down their sta­tus.

Then, how­ever, came the col­lapse in the sec­ond round, which saw them fin­ish 15th on the log and force them into the pro­mo­tion/rel­e­ga­tion play-offs, which they failed to nav­i­gate, re­sult­ing in them re­turn­ing to the NFD.

Over the past three sea­sons they’ve found con­sis­tency in re­sults hard to come by. Home base Parow Park has long been a feared desti­na­tion for vis­it­ing teams, but th­ese days it is fail­ing to live up to its omi­nous rep­u­ta­tion.

Last weekend Black Leop­ards paid a visit and handed the home side a 4-1 thrash­ing, hav­ing come into the en­counter win­less from six at­tempts. It was a re­sult that Vasco never saw com­ing. The weekend be­fore they top­pled un­beaten cross- city ri­vals Chippa United 2-0 at the same venue.

So what now, Vasco? Do they have the spirit and will to move on from this lat­est set­back? With tough- as- nails for­mer player Keenin Lesch call­ing the shots in his de­but sea­son as a coach, he will de­mand from his play­ers noth­ing less than to­tal com­mit­ment.

The chance to swing their for­tunes be­gins to­day for the sev­enth-placed side when they travel to take on United FC, a side that will prove no pushover af­ter a de­cent cam­paign to date.

Mean­while, the night­mare con­tin­ues for FC Cape Town. Win­less and in stone-last po­si­tion, the self- pro­claimed “African Beasts” have been any­thing but a feared foe, los­ing four of seven out­ings and draw­ing the other three. With just three points from a pos­si­ble 21, Town need some­thing spe­cial if they want to move away from the drop zone.

They take on un­beaten city ri­vals San­tos, and new coach Dun­can Lech­esa has his work cut out for him. He took charge of his first game last weekend and would have been a relieved man af­ter his side scored in added time to earn a draw away to top-eight side Wit­bank Spurs.

Fourth-placed San­tos will eye the derby as a chance to steal all three points, which would bring an end to a run of form that has seen the Peo­ple’s Team draw five of their last six starts. San­tos join Cape ri­vals and league lead­ers Mi­lano United as the only two un­beaten sides in the NFD.

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