By CHRIS TOTOBELA
Last Saturday afternoon, local fans were treated to another feast of football as JD Dlepu hosted a double header. In the first game Maru took on Makana Pillars in their SAB league game which attracted a lot of spectators who came in numbers to witness this local derby. Both teams did not disappoint as there were fireworks from the word go. Makana Pillars succumbed to the enormous pressure from Maru after taking an early lead and were thrashed by five goals to one.
Maru looked much fitter and better conditioned compared to their opponents, who played in patches and seemed to run out of ideas every time they got into the final third of the pitch. Maru completely outplayed their opponents, who could hardly wait for the referee to put them out of their misery.
It has been a good start for Maru so far, as they have collected six points from two games while raising their hand as one of the contenders for the title.
Next up was City Pirates, who hosted Friendly City from Alicedale in another entertaining SAB league encounter. Pirates started with the wind at their backs and scored two quick goals, taking advantage of the weather conditions. The visitors tried to fight back and pulled one back.
Pirates played very quick and hard running football and took shots at goal from a distance. They were rewarded when the visitors’ goalkeeper made some serious blunders that allowed Pirates to extend their lead to four goals to one.
Friendly City kept on pushing forward, even after conceding two more goals and they benefited from a misunderstanding between the defenders which allow the striker to run through to reduce the deficit.
The home side led by four goals to two at the halftime break. The home side were put under pressure in the second half, with City also gaining the advantage of playing with the wind at their backs. Instead of trying to slow down the pace of the game and frustrate the opponents, Pirates still tried to play their quick-passing game. It backfired, as they were caught in possession and made to pay as the visitors scored to reduce the difference to one goal only.
Pirates seemed to be in trouble. They stuck to their playing style, which was obviously not yielding any results and they kept on giving away possession in dangerous areas. They were made to pay heavily as they conceded a fourth goal, bringing the score to four goals apiece. The visitors piled on more pressure, searching for a winning goal and were unlucky not to find it. The home side were relieved to hear the final whistle as the referee ended an entertaining and thrilling game.