at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
As spring wraps her warm arms around us all, hopefully putting winter permanently into the chilly distance, so a couple of early season re-matches come springing from the soil of domestic football.
Orlando Pirates and SuperSport United, just a few days after their MTN8 semifinal first leg, or should that be ‘fight club’, meet this evening in the Absa Premiership, again in Polokwane
Bodies will probably be sore going into this one, after the two sides seemed more intent on battering the living excrement out of each other on Sunday, than they did on actually winning the match.
SuperSport’s Ghanaian midfielder Edwin Gyimah, apparently not content with the red card for retaliation he got against the Bucs in last season’s second round league game, decided to stamp on Manti Moholo, and even had the nerve to look surprised as referee Thabo Nkosi gave him a deep sense of deja vu.
Perhaps even more inexplicable, however, was Pirates rightback Rooi Mahamutsa, who with all-but the last kick of the game, swung his boot in from behind the legs of Matstsantsa striker Ashley Hartog, and into his testicles.
“I would like to apologise to my teammates and the supporters for my red card,” Mahamutsa told the Orlando Pirates website afterwards.
Yet there was no apology to Hartog, who was, after all, the man swiped in the privates.
Mahamutsa said the incident was “unintentional”, and that he wanted to “clear the ball.” Hmm, well instead he cleared the balls.
One hopes tonight, and in Saturday’s MTN8 semi-final second leg, these two admirable sides both return their focus to tactics, rather than thuggery. Mahamutsa and Gyimah will certainly be not around to add their input, suspended for both games.
Also tonight, revenge has to be on the menu for Kaizer Chiefs, as they host Mamelodi Sundowns in the Premiership, fresh from a 4-1 thumping by the Brazilians in the MTN8 quarter-final.
Stuart Baxter’s Amakhosi bounced back from that result in style, when they battered AmaZulu 6-0 in their opening league game, and must be relishing the prospect of an early chance to make some amends against Johan Neeskens’ Sundowns.
Given that Sundowns’ defence has also looked a little way from completely assured at the start of the season, we could be in for a rollercoaster of goals at the FNB Stadium.
And of course, now that I’ve said that, Murphy’s Law is bound to intervene and be prepared for a dull goalless draw.