Hlulani Shimangwe of United (left) and Musa Mkhabele of SMSA chase the ball.
In their MMK Administrators Soccer League match at the Mangondi grounds on Sunday, the title chasers, SMSA FC, drew 1-1 with Malamulele United.
As if they were going to bury the visitors alive, SMSA approached the game aggressively, with their midfielders distributing telling passes to the strikers.
Realizing that it was difficult for them to match the home side, United decided to neutralize the opponents through their rough tackles. That prompted the referee, Mr Given Furumela, to flash three yellow cards in quick succession. Lucky Mathonsi was reprimanded with a card for a dangerous tackle on Musa Mkhabele in the 14th minute.
The yellow card did not mean anything to the United players. They continued to demonstrate their rough skills. The situation became calm after another United player, Gezani Maluleke, was booked for obstruction four minutes later.
The home side took the lead in the 26th minute. Their sharpshooter, Pfunzo Tshikotshi, beat the keeper with a header.
United started to play their normal carpet football after SMSA’s goal
United effected the first change to their starting line-up four minutes into the last half. Their left back, Sydney Chauke, sustained a knee injury and was replaced with Hlulani Shimangwe. The home side responded by replacing Rudzani Ramanyini with Rabelani Rambuwani.
SMSA’s goal scorer, Pfunzo Tshikotshi, went loose from the left corner and unleashed a half volley from close range. The United keeper, Justice Chauke, palmed the ball away for a corner kick. United found the equalizer through Muxe Shitlangu towards the end of the game.
Date:20 December 2018 - 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.