GEORGE FOOTBALL NEWS - The Lawaaikamp giants Black Cats FC were crowned as the Easter Soccer Festival champions after defeating Eastern City 3-0 on a penalty shoot-out on Monday 22 April at the Thembalethu Stadium.
Cheered on by the crowd whose excitement could be felt to the far corners of the field, both sides failed to score from numerous attempts. The full 90 minutes ended on a goalless draw and had to be decided through a penalty shoot-out, where Black Cats came out victorious. The Black Cats shortstop Sipho Jacobs was the hero of the game, saving two penalties, while a third went over the cross bar.
The home side, Eastern City, got off to a good start, with their wings Luzuko Sabelesiva and Athenkosi Baliti dominating the game.
Odwa Daba made two attempts to break through Black Cats' defenders in the first half, first with an attack on the right side and again after receiving a beautiful ball played in by Mthokozisi Senzele.
Left wing Athenkosi Baliti was a big presence throughout the first half, attacking the Black Cats defenders.
A beautiful pass from him to Siphamandla Baliti came to nothing when Siphanmandla failed to break the net. Athenkosi himself made two attempts at the goal, with the second shot blocked by Black Cats' Sipho Jacobs.
Right wing Luzuko Sabelesiva drove a powerful shot down the right side of the field that went over the crossbar. A dangerous attack by Nyameko Gcuwa and Odwa Daba threatened the Black Cats right back Sonwabiso Veiver.
Gcuwa delivered a beautiful cross into the box that found Mthokozisi Senzele, whose header went over the crossbar.
Chillies Mwasa was doing everything right for Black Cats, trying to outsmart Eastern City's right back, Siyolise Nadophu. Some silky touches from Black Cats' sixteen-year-old Wanda Mkhosi (no 10) and Luyanda Laho created chances for Lunga Jantjies and Shane-Lee Windvogel up front. Xolani Mandla tried his magic on the right side but also failed.
Black Cats received two free kicks. Mkhosi Wanda took the first and drove a long range shot, which was not converted, and with the second Chillies Mwasa failed to control the ball. Quinton Phillips made a shot at the goal which went over the crossbar.
The nail-biting first half ended 0-0.
The second half was marked by more failed goal attempts. Both sides started very well, trying to control the game with strong attacks on the wings, where Black Cats' Lunga Jantjies stood out with his speed.
Eastern City's Siphamandla Baliti drove a long-range shot from outside the box, which was unsuccessful. A marvellous piece of inventive play from Nyameko Gcuwa got up the hopes for Eastern City, but Mthokozisi Senzele failed to score.
Luyanda Laho starred for Black Cats with a beautiful pass into the box (which Zovuyo Maduna failed to convert) and creating chances in the centre with the support of Wanda Mkhosi and Siyabonga Situlo. Eastern City players Landile Magwa and Siphamandla Baliti had their hands full fending off the strong attacks.
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