CAPE TOWN CITY STUNNED BY RAG-TAG DIVISION 2 ACORNBUSH
PHOTO: Moseamedi Judas started for Cape Town City, but was unable to break down the Acornbush defence. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky, BackpagePix
CAPE TOWN – Football doesn’t respect reputations or log positions. Cape Town City found this out to their detriment when they crashed out of the Nedbank Cup on Sunday afternoon, losing 1-0 to Nelspruit-based Second Division side Acornbush United.
City have had a fantastic season so far. Last year they won the Telkom Knockout, and they are currently in a lofty second place on the PSL standings.
In the build-up to the fixture against Acornbush, the Cape club’s coach Eric Tinkler spoke at length about the need to guard against complacency.
After defeating Mamelodi Sundowns last week, he knew that he had to keep his players grounded. He spent the entire week drilling this into the team at training. But it all appears to have been for nought as City failed to overcome a lower-tier side they should, in truth, be beating quite easily.
But this “David v Goliath” scenario is at the core of the lure of football. It’s also the beauty of this competition, based on the popular FA Cup, which allows lower-league sides the opportunity to match their ability against their more illustrious top-flight opponents.
Tinkler had promised to make a few changes for the Acornbush game to allow a few regulars some rest, and that translated into starts for Letsie Koapeng, Judas Moseamedi, Vincent Kobola and a debut for new Zimbabwean goalkeeper Tatenda Mkuruva.
While City had the possession, they couldn’t break down the resolute defence of the Second Division side. Against the run of play, Acornbush scored in the 41st minute – and that was it.
Try as they would, City just couldn’t find a way back into the game.
So, on reflection, Tinkler will probably be pondering on how effective his message against complacency was.
Based on the result, it would appear that it didn’t sink in – and the coach will be demanding a far more improved effort in the Free State on Saturday, when they take on Bloemfontein Celtic in a PSL fixture.
Meanwhile, NFD side Stellenbosch FC may have crashed out of the Nedbank Cup, but they emerged with great credit from the 3-0 defeat to PSL giants Kaizer Chiefs at Athlone Stadium on Saturday night.
While the popular Soweto club deserved the victory, on the balance of play, the score-line certainly wasn’t a reflection of how well Stellenbosch performed on the night.
Stellenbosch wanted to use the occasion against Chiefs to expose the club. They are just six months old. Previously the NFD franchise of Vasco da Gama, the club was relocated to Stellenbosch and renamed.
The top priority is to get the team to the PSL – and they will view the outing against a team as good as Chiefs as a valuable learning experience.
“I’m very proud of the team and the way they performed,” said Stellenbosch coach Sammy Troughton.
Stellenbosch FC coach Sammy Troughton. Photo: Chris Ricco, BackpagePix
“The aim was to give Chiefs some competition and a stiff challenge, and I think we managed to achieve that.
“There were a few blunders which led to the goals – and, at this level, and against a team with the quality of Chiefs, you will be punished.
“But we stuck at it, even when we were one or two goals behind. We kept trying and had some good phases of play.
“I think the entire team deserves congratulations for the way they played, and I’m sure it will stand us in good stead in the future.
“Look, the main aim is to get the club promoted to the PSL. So we’ll take the positives from the defeat to Chiefs, and hopefully use the experience gained in our upcoming games.”
As it turned out, it wasn’t a good Saturday for Cape teams in the competition.
Three played, three lost.
In addition to Stellenbosch’s exit, Ajax Cape Town surprisingly went down 4-3 on penalties to KZN Second Division campaigners KwaDukuza United, while FC Cape Town were beaten 2-0 by Baroka FC.
Cape Town All Stars will be in action on Wednesday when they host PSL big guns Wits at Athlone Stadium (7.30pm).