By Unathi Mntonintshi


Manning Rangers0

Classic coach Walter Rautmann fanned the ire of his club's fans after this stalemate by accusing the match officials of denying his relegation-haunted team what he called "a blatant penalty".

Perhaps, however, Rautmann's antics were motivated partly by the dawning knowledge that he will not be able to save a Classic side that has managed to find the net only 11 times in 18 games.

What he has managed though, is to stop his team from leaking goals like a perforated water can.

Even so, the defence of Clyde Mahlangu, Johannes Khumalo and goalkeeper Bafana Mathibela seemed helpless after just three minutes when Antonio Trigo's free kick hit the upright and the rebound was tucked in by Mkhiphitheni Matombo.

But the goal was disallowed for offside, much to the dismay of Rangers coach Clive Barker, who made sure the assistant referee heard his views.

But it is not at the back where the Messiah - as Rautmann has become known - should be looking to reinforce his struggling team. Up front, Abeyomi Adebayo is one of the better imports to this country but sadly he is all alone.

He had a chance 10 minutes into the second half after an uncharacteristic error by Robbie Milne. The Nigerian outran Milne but shot wide with only Orwin Castel to beat.

Much was expected of Rangers after their excellent victory over log leaders Moroka Swallows in midweek. But striker Ishmael Maluleke, in particular, was often guilty of wasting possession with passes that went astray.

His partner, Gilbert Mushangazhike, never had a chance to make any impact as Mahlangu marked him tightly throughout the game.

Rangers 4-4-2: Castel; Matombo, Muianga, Milne, Muir (Davies 46); Shata, Noge (Baloyi 72), Trigo, Zwane; Mushangazhike, Maluleke

Classic 4-4-2: Mathibela; Nhlapho, Khumalo, Mahlangu, Phakathi; Malatule (Mthunzi 46), Mofokeng, Dlamini (Cibi 37), Johnstone; Mackett (Maleka 68), Adebayo

  • An unidentified spectator died five minutes after the game ended when he was struck by lightning. Paramedics were unable to revive the man as he lay motionless on the north-eastern corner of the pitch.