The slog through the NFD mire continues for Cape strugglers
CAPE TOWN’S lowest-placed NFD teams face an uphill battle this weekend to drag themselves away from the relegation zone.
Santos and Cape Town All Stars are 14th and 15th respectively and must win to avoid sinking further into the mire. However, with The People’s Team hosting free- scoring league- leaders Thanda Royal Zulu today and All Stars visiting Jomo Cosmos tomorrow, even draws may be hard to come by.
All Stars won their first game of the season against Mthatha Bucks last week. Igugu Lekapa have looked dangerous in attack, but have conceded the most goals (13).
They have also struggled for consistency in their coaching staff, and have already parted ways with two head coaches. Assistant coach Dylan Deane will take charge of his third match this season and says the young side is maturing.
“We have a very young team so a lot of the young boys haven’t been exposed to NFD football and that’s what made it difficult in the first couple of games. They weren’t used to the intensity of the league. It’s very quick and a lot of teams play aerial football so everything in the air becomes a physical challenge,” he said.
“We’ll apply the football principles that work for us and what works for us is obviously that we like to keep possession of the ball, but we also want to go forward quickly and penetrate.
“We are not going to change much but we have prepared for Cosmos. Their confidence is high because of their position on the log, and our confidence is high because we got our first win and we are going to continue building on that.”
Meanwhile, Santos have not won since their opening 2-1 win over Mbombela United. They have struggled to turn possession into goals and recorded their third draw of the campaign in last week’s 1-1 stalemate against Witbank Spurs. The Lansdowne club will need to defend astutely to keep out Thanda, who have scored 14 goals in their last three games.
Milano United face a much easier prospect tomorrow when they host Real Kings at Athlone Stadium. The Grassy Park outfit moved out of the relegation zone last week after an against-the-odds win against Stellenbosch FC.
Milano coach Boebie Solomons tempered expectations ahead of the fixture.
“We are taking it one game at a time. We look at every game and we don’t set our sights too far, because I think that is what we have done previously,” he said.
“Especially the young players; they can’t take the same pressure as the experienced players. So we take it one game at a time and put too much pressure on the players.
“We have to let them find their feet, gain experience and enjoy themselves.” Fixtures Today (3.30pm): Santos v Thanda Royal Zulu FC, Black Leopards v FC Cape Town, Royal Eagles v Magesi FC, Mthatha Bucks v Mbombela United. Tomorrow (3.30pm): University of Pretoria v Witbank Spurs, Jomo Cosmos v Cape Town All Stars, AmaZulu v Stellenbosch FC, Milano United v Real Kings FC.