Xhosa Fast 11 march on

2018-06-07 06:01
Xhosa Fast Eleven players battle for possession of the ball during their match with New Age FC on Sunday 3 June. The hosts won the Coca-Cola Cup encounter 6-4.PHOTO: velani ludidi

Xhosa Fast Eleven players battle for possession of the ball during their match with New Age FC on Sunday 3 June. The hosts won the Coca-Cola Cup encounter 6-4.PHOTO: velani ludidi

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It was a joyful affair when Xhosa Fast Eleven hosted New Age FC from Lingelethu in a
Coca-Cola Cup knockout encounter at the Lwandle Astro on Sunday 3 June.

The popular tournament is made possible through a partnership between Coca-Cola and the Safa Cape Town.

The best achievement of a local team in the tournament, which features 263 teams from local football associations (LFAs) affiliated to Safa CT, was when Two For Joy lost in the final at Athlone Stadium in 2016.

Disappointingly, there was a low turn-out for the match, considering the popularity of the knockout competition in the Cape.

Xhosa Fast Eleven were not the better side on the day, but the local charges made better use their opportunities.

The visitors played beautiful football, but their level of fitness was tested on the turf.

The hosts drew first blood by capitalising on a mistake by the visitors’ goalkeeper (1-0).

Fifteen minutes later, New Age answered as they showcased their footballing skills and touches, and left the Xhosa defence chasing nothing but shadows.

The first half finished with the teams deadlocked at 3-3.

The discipline of the home team paid off in the second half, when they scored two goals in the first 20 minutes of the stanza (5-3). But New Age refused to give up and soon pulled it back (5-4).

The goal was soon countered by Xhosa Fast Eleven, as they scored the final goal of the match (FT: 6-4).

After the final whistle, New Age coach
Melikhaya Mana said his full squad was not available for the outing. “We used a field player as a goalkeeper and he committed many errors. Our opponents had two things in mind: scoring goals and winning. We played good football, but we lacked quality,” he admitted.

New Age skipper Siyabonga Mbusi said: “We panicked after conceding the first goal, because we had not settled. We had a lot of youngsters who lacked experience, which showed today. Our opponents were disciplined and their fitness levels was superior to ours.”

Victorious coach Thembalethu Ngxovu was happy with the win, but lambasted his team’s style of play throughout the match.

“I accept the win, but our game was not that convincing. Our opponents played good football and we learned a lot from them,” he said.

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