Emmanuel Mphephu of Home Defenders (left) controls the ball, while Mpho Ndou of Junior Aces attempts to intercept.
Mpheni Home Defenders are through to the semifinal stage of the Safa Vhembe Total Challenge, following their 6-5 victory over Makuya Junior Aces at the Makwarela Stadium on Sunday.
The game was characterized by wasted scoring chances, with the keepers pulling off some great saves time after time. Mpho Ndou of Aces was the first player to go into the referee’s book. He found himself on the wrong side of the football laws after obstructing Lucky Munyai in the 14th minute.
Defenders were the first to open their account. Trust Tshidumo forced his way through the defence of Aces and beat the keeper with a ground cutter. It took Junior Aces 34 minutes to find the equalizer. Rinae Mokgonyana gave the ball a final touch after a scramble within the box.
Nkhumbuleni Munyai of Junior Aces was reprimanded with a card in the 44th minute. He left the field of play to change his soccer boots without notifying the match officials. Home Defenders replaced their goal scorer, Trust Tshidumo, with Thabo Matuba four minutes into the last half. Junior Aces responded by introducing Lindelani Mudau and Vhutshilo Munyai for Omphulusa Masotsha and Takalani Thomani respectively moments thereafter.
Aces were reduced to 10 men in the 69th minute. Their Rastafarian midfielder, Mpho Ndou, was given his marching orders, following a second bookable offence. This after he had ignored the referee’s whistle and kicked the ball away.
The game came to a halt for about 10 minutes after the players of Junior Aces confronted the referee, Mr Roy Mulaudzi, in anger, accusing him of favouritism. Aces played defensive football afterwards and the score was still 1-1 when the referee blew the final whistle. The winner was determined through penalty shootout. Defenders converted all five their chances while Aces missed one.
Date:17 February 2017 - By: Frank Mavhungu
Frank is a Human Resources Manager at the Department of Public Works in Limpopo. He is the longest serving correspondent of the Mirror, having joined us at the end of 1990. He mainly writes sports reports and resides at Tsianda Village. In 2004, Frank won the National Castle League Award, an award for the best reporter in the SAB league in South Africa.