Karabo Mookamedi of Barcelona kicks the ball, while Freddy Maake of Ditlou pulls him back.
Ditlou FC from Waterberg Region collected full points at the expense of Nkowankowa Barcelona when they narrowly beat them 1-0 in their SAB League promotional play-off match at the Rabali Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
It was a game of two halves as Barcelona were in full control of the game throughout the first half, while Ditlou took the game to the Tzaneen side in the last 45 minutes of the game.
The referee, Mr Jelly Chabane, was the busiest person on the field of play as the tempo of the game increased with time. In 14th minute, Barcelona made their first attempt. Their overlapping midfielder, Nyiko Nkwinika, received a neat pass from Fumani Ntlemo in the 25-meter area and beat two defenders in a row before unleashing a volley. The ball missed the target by inches, much to the fans’ disappointment.
Barcelona did not stop fighting, despite the disappointment. They continued to play as a collective, regrouping from behind and dishing out some telling passes to the strikers. The only time Ditlou threatened to score in the first half was when Harry Lekalakala shot wide from close range in the 29th minute. The keeper of Barcelona, Thulani Ngobeni, braved the shot and palmed the ball away for a corner kick.
Ditlou replaced Kholofelo Matsemela, Happy Baregi and Tony Maila with Isaac Makalapa, June Phiri and Justice Mahlega respectively early in the last half. The keeper of Barcelona, Thulani Ngobeni, was the only player who was warned with a card. He shouted at the referee, instructing him what to do and when to do it. That was an insult to Mr Jelly Chabane, who quickly flashed yellow.
The goal earning Ditlou three vital points came in the 69th minute. Katlego Gololo hooked in the ball, following scramble within the box. Ditlou played defensive football for the remaining part of the game.
Date:11 August 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.