By CHRIS TOTOBELA
The Makana LFA Premier League got under way last weekend with mouth-watering encounters taking place at the home of local football, JD Dlepu stadium.
On Saturday, newly promoted Makana Tigers held last season’s title contenders Young Eagles to a thrilling 2-2 draw.
In another exciting clash, 6 Sai Army saw off Makana Celtics 4-2.
It was a baptism of fire for the sleeping giants of Makhanda football, Pioneers FC, as they lost both of their games on the weekend. They were welcomed back into the top flight by old enemies City Pirates and Joza Callies and lost 7-2 and 2-0, respectively.
It was a good opening weekend for the reigning first division champions Lalibela Lions as they announced their arrival with 5-1 and 3-0 victories over Grahamstown United and Makana Celtics, respectively.
It was also a good weekend for Xl Attackers as they beat Pumba Pirates 2-1 and played a 2-2 draw against Cameroon.
In an ill-tempered but explosive game on Sunday, Love and Peace beat Sophia stars 4-2. Grahamstown United bounced back from their defeat to beat Newseekers by four unanswered goals in another match.
In the main game of the day, City Pirates locked horns with Makana Tigers in a packed JD Dlepu stadium, but the action on the field did not match the fans’ enthusiasm on the stands. The only highlight of the first half was a well taken long-range shot from the halfway line by Bahle Ndyolashe to give Pirates the lead.
After being awarded a penalty, Tigers got the chance to come back into the game but shot tamely at the goalkeeper. In the second half, Pirates enjoyed more ball possession but failed to capitalise, while Tigers had few in-between chances that they also failed to use effectively. Pirates played too many harmless passes that yielded no results and will have to do much better than that if they stand any chance of returning to the regional league.