NELSPRUIT – Coal City Wizards coach Mabu Moroaswi urged his players to emulate the Detroit Ladies class of 2009 that won the inaugural Sasol League National Championships.
The Mpumalanga champions, Wizards, sneaked into the semi-finals of the tournament after finishing as the best runners-up on Wednesday.
Wizards will face 2014 championships winners Cape Town Roses in the first semi-final on Thursday.
Thunderbirds take on the defending champions Bloemfontein Celtic Ladies in the second semifinal. Wizards sneaked past Sunflower FC, who also had four points, but the KwaZulu-Natal champions had an inferior goal difference.
Wizards’ 2-2 draw with Thunderbirds at Kabokweni Stadium was enough for both teams to go through to the semi-finals.
Thunderbirds topped the group thanks to their superior goal difference. Even though Wizards are playing in front of their home crowd, they will go into their match against Roses as underdogs due to the Capetonians’ experience and pedigree in this competition.
“If you look at the chances that we created but didn’t convert, it shows that being the hosts has put pressure on the players,” Moroaswi said.
“There are a lot of expectations when you are the hosts. I think that my players are trying too hard instead of keeping things simple. It’s something that we need to fix if we are going to go to the final. It would be special to win this cup at home.
“If you remember, the first edition in 2009 in Cape Town, was won by Detroit Ladies from Mpumalanga. We need to follow in their footsteps. It has been a long time since a Mpumalanga team won this competition.”
Day Three of the Sasol League National Championships start with Cape Town Roses vs De Scorpions. pic.twitter.com/VPNMZsOyAM
Roses booked their place in the semi-finals with a commanding display by thumping De Scorpions 6-0.
Sisanda Vukapi netted a hat trick, while Noxolo Cesane scored a brace and Ode Fulutudilu pitched in with the sixth goal.
The Cape side finished first in Group A followed by Sunflower while De Scorpions are rooted to the bottom.
The reigning champions are favourites to retain the title they won last year as the only team to have won all their games.
Celtic completed their 100% record with a 3-1 win over Kanatla Ladies to make it six goals against two competitive teams.
Celtic will fancy their chances against Thunderbirds, who are there for the taking.
Cape Town Roses (Western Cape) 6-0 De Scorpions (North West)
Diski Queen of the Match: Noxolo Cesane (Roses)
Kanatla Ladies (Limpopo) 1-3 Bloemfontein Celtic Ladies (Free State)
Diski Queen of the Match: Melinda Kgadiete (Celtic)
Thunderbirds FC (Eastern Cape) 2-2 Coal City Wizards (Mpumalanga)
Diski Queen of the Match: Siyamthanda Skeyi (Thunderbirds)
7th place playoff: Kanatla Ladies vs De Scorpions – 9am
5th place playoff: Sunflower FC vs Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies – 11.15am
First semi-final: Cape Town Roses vs Coal City Wizard – 1.30pm
Second semi-final: Thunderbirds FC vs Bloemfontein Celtic Ladies – 3.45pm
* Njabulo Ngidi is in Nelspruit courtesy of Sasol