In one of last Saturday’s better games, Joza Callies edged Makana Pillars 3-2 with Joza’s goalkeeper Lukhanyo Feni stealing the show with brilliant saves that earned him loud cheers from the appreciative Dlepu Stadium crowd.
Santos also fought their way back into the game against a hard running Cameroon side trailing 2-1 before winning game 3-2 in a tough contest. Tando Mtwalo crowned his man-of-the-match performance with a well-taken goal.
The pick of the weekend however, was Sunday’s game in which City Pirates and Newtown City, two former SAB regional league participants, met in a Makana LFA Premier league match. It was clear from the word go that both teams were not going to seat back as they attacked furiously. Pirates had the better of the early exchanges and used their wing play effectively as Newtown City struggled to deal with their speed.
Pirates got an early advantage when they were awarded a penalty in the seventh minute when a City defender handled the ball inside the box. Zolani Swaartbooi easily converted the spot-kick. 1-0. The battle of midfield got tougher as both teams tried to gain control of the game and Newtown City had a great opportunity to level matters just before half-time break when their striker caught the Pirates defence off guard with a dangerous run, and even beat the keeper, only to miss an open net.
Newtown City came fighting in the second half and were again unlucky not to score when their striker shot over the bar with only the goalkeeper to beat. Pirates slowly came back into the game and started dictating matters in the midfield but squandered a lot of scoring chances. Both teams threw everything at each other keeping the crowd alive with entertaining and attacking football but were both very poor in front of goal.
With less than 10 minutes before the final whistle, Pirates caught City with a quick counter attack which was finished off by super substitute Aphelele Tyelbooi. 2-0. Newtown City did not give however, and kept searching for a goal but it was not to be; with the final whistle closing down an entertaining game in which both teams displayed very good football skills.
Incidentally, the well-oiled Pirates team is yet to lose a game this season.