Tashreeq Morris helping Cape Town City rise again
CAPE TOWN – Cape Town City have a unique brand of football that they aspire to play. It is based on good all-around skill, versatility, and creativity.
Often referred to as “total football”, coined by the Netherlands legend Johan Cruyff during the 1970s, it is based on each player striving to push forward to create opportunities to penetrate the defence.
It is no surprise then that City are marshalled by another Dutch maestro, Jan Olde Riekerink, who was also schooled in the famed Ajax Amsterdam system.
However, like the “Oranje Army” have discovered over the years, it takes patience and resolve to perfect, with disappointments along the way.
The Citizens have experienced that this season, often playing highly entertaining football, but not being able to grind out the results. And even as the pressure mounted when City went through a seven-game streak without a league victory, Olde Riekerink stuck to his principles and maintained that all the team required to turn their fortunes around was a striker that capitalised on the numerous opportunities they were creating.
Enter Tashreeq Morris. The lanky striker endured a lean start to the season, but has now begun to repay the faith Olde Riekerink has shown in him all season.
The 26-year-old has scored in successive matches now, and in the process inspired City to two crucial victories over SuperSport United (3-0) and Kaizer Chiefs (2-1).
“My aim is always to score goals whenever I get a chance to play. The coach put a lot of trust in me so I had to put in a lot of hard work. We knew opportunities would come so it was all about staying alert and being patient. I’m glad I could help the team win against Chiefs,” Morris told IOL Sport.
“When the results weren’t going our way, it was important that we didn’t lose our identity as a team. It’s the same for me, when I don’t score I have to remember the qualities that I bring to the team and keep pushing for the goals.”
The six points gained over the last two weeks have cemented City’s position in the top eight – they are seventh and five points clear of their nearest challengers – and Olde Riekerink praised his charges for emerging from that dark spell recently.
“It wasn’t a complete performance but I think it’s also the circumstances. It was slippery and of course you play against Chiefs the spaces are not that big,” he said after the victory over the Mighty Amakhosi.
“I must give my team a fantastic compliment because I think they did a fantastic job. They can play football, and what you saw the other day, could also fight for a victory. Special bunch of players. I’m very proud of what they did today. We’ve come from a very bad period and they have shown what they can do.
“Chiefs have quality. They can go with the crosses and score the goals. They have good players.
They are very dangerous in front of the goal. In the last 20 minutes it was more of a fighting game where we had to survive. But they did fantastic. Sometimes you play fantastic and sometimes you get the win in your pocket and leave.”