Azwithusi Khaukanani of Stone Breakers controls the ball while Muimeleli Simba of Shooting Stars is on his heels.

Matsika on top in nerve-wrecking match

 

Matsika Shooting Stars secured a place in the semi-final of the prestigious Marshal Resort Soccer Tournament by beating Nweli Stone Breakers 8-7 in their clash at the Khubvi Benjies grounds on Sunday.

The game was initially played at the Matsika grounds last Friday, but had to be abandoned at half time due to heavy rain. At that stage, Stone Breakers were leading 1-0.

Shooting Stars approached their Sunday game differently as they were firing from all cylinders from the first whistle. Their efforts did not pass without a reward as they managed to open their account nine minutes into the game. Ndzalama Mhlongo forced his way through the defence of Stone Breakers and blasted in a rocket from inside the box.

There was drama shortly afterwards when Ndzalama Mhlongo of Shooting Stars and Ramudzuli Phalanndwa of Stone Breakers exchanged blows inside the field play. They were each reprimanded with a yellow card. Shooting Stars enjoyed the 1-0 lead until the proceedings for the first half came to an end.

Stone Breakers took the game to Stars in the last half. They found the equalizer ten minutes into the last half. Jeffrey Munyai beat the offside trap and beat the keeper with a half volley. Both sides effected some changes to their starting line-ups later in the game, but that did not change the complexion of the game. Azwifaneli Tangani of Stone Breakers was reprimanded with a card for dangerous play. He tackled Lawrence Simba from behind and he was lucky to escape with a mere yellow card.

The winner was determined through a penalty shoot-out as the score was still 1-1 when the referee blew the final whistle. Shooting Stars converted seven of their chances, while Stone Breakers scored six from the white spot.

 

Ndolivhuwa Nthambeleni of Stone Breakers (closest to camera) and Rudzani Dile of Shooting Stars wrestle to win the high ball.

Tendani Nekhunguni of Stone Breakers chases the ball.

Lucky Vhuma of Shooting Stars hooks the ball.

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Date:21 April 2017 - By: Frank Mavhungu

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.

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