Dream over for Rovers

2016-03-09 06:00

THE NEDBANK CUP keeps exposing the sad state of soccer in the Northern Cape.

While other teams from other provinces comes from either the PSL or ABC Motsepe league, the Northern Cape team comes from the SAB League, which made it the lowest ranking team in the competition.

However it should be noted that United Rovers, better known as “die honde wat byt”, had to beat other teams from the province to reach the last 32 in the Nedbank cup.

The game Mpumalanga Black Aces played in the province’s capital city, Kimberley, had all the elements of a David versus Goliath narrative. This time, Goliath did the expected, beating David 7-0. United Rovers, a community football club from De Aar, had to sweat hard to reach the last 32 of the Nedbank Cup and their game against Mpumalanga Black Aces proved their mettle, particularly on ball control.

Although Black Aces scored their first goal in less than five minutes after the start, the first save by goalkeeper Auburn Oliphant gave a glimpse of the qualities he possesses as a goal keeper. Ordinarily, Aces should have scored 10 goals before half time, had it not been for the heroics of Oliphant, who is the son of coach Freddie Oliphant.

Lehlohonolo Nonyane scored the first goal. Aubrey Ngoma scored two goals, of which one was a dubious penalty. The Soweto born Bongolwethu Jayiya came from the bench to net three goals, while Mukuka Mulenga also came from the bench and put one behind Auburn Oliphant.

United Rovers tried their best to score, even introducing a 36 year old Geelboy Goeiman, but to no avail.

In the end, the impossible dream of United Rovers began and ended at GWK Park in Kimberley. The man of the match, green jacket and five thousand rands cheque went to Auburn Oliphant. However, according to Titus Appie, a fan who travelled 320 km from De Aar to see the game, a game like this should have been played at the Rovers grounds in De Aar, close to the community.

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