‘Curse of the penalty’ proves undoing of Glenwood 1st soccer XI

2013-08-27 00:00

GLENWOOD’S 1st soccer team resumed their challenge in the 9Bros Cup at the weekend, meeting Comtech in the semi-final at King Zwelithini Stadium in Umlazi.

The Durban lads had reached this stage after a series of round robin matches in May, joining 15 other schools divided into four pools of four teams.

Overseen by the KZN Education Department, the tournament received high compliments from those involved, with a disciplined, organised approach ensuring its success. However, for Glenwood the curse of the penalty was their undoing as they went down to Comtech 3-1 after being locked at 1-1 at the final whistle.

They started the match well, pushing the ball around, probing for opportunities. Reward came when Martin van Zuydam found the net but, instead of spurring Glenwood to push forward for more goals, it had the opposite effect.

Players backed off and fell too deep, encouraging the opposition to run at them. Passes went astray and on too many occasions, possession was given away. It was a matter of time before the equaliser came and despite Glenwood attempting to find a winner, they were too flat and never posed a threat.

In the penalty shoot-out, Van Zuydam was the only Glenwood marksman to hit the net as three spot kicks were missed.

Shattered by their semi-final loss, Glenwood looked flat, tired and lethargic in the play-off for third and fourth against Ogwini. They battled to get going and never looked threatening, going down 2-0 and finishing fourth overall.

“This was a tournament that ran smoothly from beginning to end, thanks to Ben Dladla of the Education Department,” said Glenwood coach Steve Howard.

“There were no issues about the age of players or their authenticity. Even dress code was strictly adhered to and future tournaments would do well to learn from this.”

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