Thanda under pressure

2011-06-11 00:00

WITH their Absa Premiership promotion hopes lying in tatters after being held to a first-leg promotion play-offs 0-0 draw by Bay United on Wednesday in Richards Bay, Thanda Royal aim to apply an all-out attack when they meet for the second-leg in Port Elizabeth tonight.

The teams will lock horns at Glenvedale Stadium in an 8.15 pm kick-off.

Thanda coach Mlungisi “Professor” Ngubane’s decision to leave out pacy winger Lucky Mzizi backfired as his side battled to create clear-cut chances.

Bay were content to absorb pressure and rely on counter-attacks, but Thanda’s cautious approach at home before a large crowd seemed bizarre.

However, Ngubane, who tried hard to remain upbeat after the disappointing draw, pledged to take the game to their PE hosts from the first whistle.

“I’m not disappointed at all with this result,” Ngubane said. “I think I always felt that if we don’t score then they must not score as well.

“We played very well in my opinion and we controlled the game. We were all over them and the difference was just that we didn’t score.

“We didn’t want to risk too much by throwing players forward, so I think 0-0 was okay. Now that we are playing in their back yard, we will put them under pressure from the onset,” said Ngubane.

A one-all draw would suite Ngubane’s men just fine as that would send them through on the away goals rule.

Bay coach David Bright conceded that their recent goal drought is becoming a concern.

Umlilo failed to score over two legs against Jomo Cosmos, who have won promotion to the Premiership: “There is a little bit of concern because the goals are not coming. We’ve played three games now without any goals.

“It’s something we have to work on, yes. We’re always working hard to score, it’s just that the luck is not with us in that respect at the moment.”

Bright also felt that despite Thanda’s domination, they never really looked like scoring.

He added, “I’m experienced in these play-offs and I enjoy them a lot. I think we played quite well.

“Thanda didn’t have a lot of chances, or clear-cut chances, I should say.

“They had the ball in our half of the field, but their crosses were easily cut off by my goalkeeper and centre backs, who were very good in the air.”

In another semi-final play-off, Vasco Da Gama should overcome Black Leopards at Cape Town Stadium in a 3 pm kick-off.

Vasco Da Gama scored a crucial away goal when the sides played to a 1-1 draw in the first leg in Limpopo on Wednesday.

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