By: CHRIS TOTOBELA
The weekend of 1-2 September was a good one for local football fans, as they came out in their numbers to support their Makana LFA stars in the final stages of the Makana LFA pre-season tournament at JD Dlepu. The semi-finals took place on Saturday 1 September, with the finals being played on Sunday 2 September.
On Saturday, in the first game Joza Callies defeated City Pirates on penalties after playing to a one all draw. The referee, who seemed to be overwhelmed by the occasion, lost control of the game. It was clear that the referee was not yet ready to officiate at such a stage. In the second game on the day, Makana Pillars beat Jacaranda Aces on penalties after playing out a two all draw.
This led to Joza Callies against Makana Pillars in the final on Sunday. The game started at a high pace, with both teams looking for an early goal. Callies pressed hard, putting Pillars on the back foot, but were caught unaware by a thunderous long range shot from Jabulani Mkwena, who spotted the keeper off his line and left him for dead with a great shot. Joza Callies continued with their positive attacking football and were rewarded after a goal keeping blunder that gave Athenkosi Masa a chance to level matters just before half time.
Both teams came back even more motivated and delighted the crowd with their attacking brand of football but were guilty of not making the most of the opportunities they created. With neither team able to score again before the final whistle, the game would be decided on penalties. With both teams leaving it all on the pitch, Makana Pillars ended up winning both the penalties and the trophy.
If both teams’s performance in this tournament is anything to go by, we are in for a great and exciting upcoming season. Makana LFA leadership and their sponsors need to be applauded for hosting such a tournament and affording the coaches an opportunity to fine tune their combinations just before the start of the new season.