No, it’s not time to hand the PSL title to Wits as yet.
After Wits defeated Orlando Pirates earlier in the week, to go five points clear of City, there was a sense that that was about it. The Clever Boys had edged ahead and were probably the overwhelming favourites to go all the way.
But this City side never know when they are beat. It doesn’t know when to give up. And, while they weren’t at their best on Friday night, the result was all that mattered.
Sometimes, in a challenge for a league championship, teams have to grind out a result even when the performance is not up to scratch.
On this occasion, against a Stars team that hadn’t come to play, that had come to park a bus and hopefully catch the Capetonians on the counter, it was always going to be a struggle.
City eventually managed to pull it off – but with three games to go, and the
If City are to continue to put pressure on log leaders Wits, then they are going to have to find their mojo again.
As it stands now, Wits top the PSL standings with 54 points, followed by City on 52 and Mamelodi Sundowns on 51.
The importance of victory in Friday night’s fixture was immediately evident when Tinkler announced his starting team. With the
Usually the Capetonians play with just one forward, but this time they deployed both Letsie Koapeng and Judas Moseamedi up front. Occasionally, Moseamedi would drift out wide on the right, but in general, the idea was to have more of a presence in attack.
And with central defender Tshepo Gumede suspended and Thato Mokeke dropping back to replace him, the attack-minded Thabo Nodada was drafted into midfield.
But the problem with playing a struggling, beleaguered side like Stars is that there’s not going to be much space within which to operate. The
They stuck to their negative game plan, stayed tight and compact, and made sure that they were always in shape and structured in defence. As a result, the Capetonians struggled to break them down.
While City dominated the possession and territory, they just appeared to lack the intensity, urgency and sense of purpose that has characterised the majority of their season.
On the two occasions when they managed to find a way beyond Stars’ resolute defensive line in the first half, the
Ten minutes into the second half, with City needing a bit more creativity and spark, Koapeng was replaced by Bhongolethu Jayiya. The change resulted in the Capetonians reverting to their preferred one-striker formation, with Moseamedi as the focus of their attack.
It paid dividends, with Jayiya putting right back Vincent Kobola in the clear, and his cross picked out a rising Moseamedi to power a glancing header into the net.
It has certainly been a great time of late for Moseamedi. He netted a late winner to hand City a 3-2 win over Kaizer Chiefs two weeks ago and on Friday night, he again popped up when his team were desperately in need of a hero.
The goal was just the tonic for City to, finally, realise that they needed to be more goal-minded in their approach.
Ngoma should have increased their advantage when set up by the inspired Moseamedi, but the winger hoofed his shot over the bar.