January 17, 2019


Eagles share the spoils

National First Division aspirants Super Eagles failed to register a victory in their opening encounter against Acornbush during the 2017 ABC Motsepe national play-offs played at the Buffalo City Stadium in East London.

The opening game of the tournament saw Free State side Super Eagles take on Acornbush of Mpumalanga, with the tightly-contested affair ending in a 0-0 stalemate. The second fixture between Buya Msuthu from the North West and Gauteng’s Maccabi FC dished out the same results as the game failed to produce a winner, both teams finishing at 1-1.

Following the disappointing result, Eagles coach Tshegofatso Mashego said although they did not lose the match, the outcome had made their lives a bit difficult heading into other encounters.
“We wanted nothing but a win,” Mashego, told The Weekly, adding further that “three points in the bag would have made life a lot easier for the boys.”

While many believe Acornbush had far more better chances of winning the game, Mashego holds a contrary view. “They came at us from the first whistle and like us created goal scoring chances but to say they deserved the victory more than us is not fair.

“We played cautious football, maybe that’s one of the things we shouldn’t have done but if you look at the last 20 minutes of the game, it’s clear who should have won that match, but we fumbled and that cost us,” said Mashego.

Meanwhile, the coach continued to express confidence in side proceeding through to the next level. “I have full confidence in the boys. We are more than capable of going to the next level. We are hungry and possess the quality to see us through despite being underrated,” he said.

The Eagles will battle it out with Buya Msthu today at Sisa Dukashe Stadium, Port Elizabeth in a match that is expected to produce fireworks as both teams will go for the kill in an attempt to collect maximum points.

Following a sterling performance in the Nedbank Cup, Acornbush are still perceived as the favourites to claim the ultimate prize which leaves other teams with a point to prove in the remaining games.

In his interview with Kick-Off after sharing the spoils, Arconbush coach MacDonald Makhubedu said: “A lot of pressure is on us because of what we did in the Nedbank Cup but we believe we are a big team and can handle the pressure. Today was tough but my boys fought hard for this deserved victory.

We now need to relax a bit and work on the mistakes we made in the last two matches.”

It remains to be seen whether his boys will be able to live up to expectations and lift the crown.

The first prize stands at R1-million of which R200 000 will go towards soccer development in the province.

The second prize is R500 000 and the same applies for soccer development in the province of the runner-up. The club will receive R400 000 and development R100 000 of the prize money.

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