root - September 12, 2023

David Rossouw

After FC Bayern dropped to seventh position on Saturday 9 September by drawing 2-2 with Champion City, Arsenal and Zonki Izizwe battled it out to see who will come out on top of the Witsand derby at the Robinvale Sports Complex in the pouring rain on Sunday 10 September. 

With only five games remaining, FC Bayern is hoping to finish in the top five, which means they have to win all their remaining games.

Early in the day, log leaders Robinvale Spurs improved their position over Leeds United when they beat Jomo’s Power AFC 1-0 on Sunday, thanks to Dilerenzo Cloete putting the ball in Jomo’s net. The win increased their lead by five points over second-placed Atlantis Leeds who were top of the log for only 20 minutes before Spurs took over. 

The last five matches will be nail-biting as the top three teams ­‑ Robinvale Spurs, Atlantis Leeds, and Aberdeen ‑ slog it out. The top team will qualify for the SAFA Cape Town Regional Men’s league. 

The match were played on a wet astroturf, but too many unnecessary mistakes were made by both sides, and frustrated the Spurs and Jomo’s coaches.  With only five matches remaining, Spurs have to fix their mistakes in the remaining matches as they cannot afford to drop points with Leeds breathing down their neck.

The match of the day was definitely the Witsand derby between Zonki Zizwe and Arsenal. Arsenal put Zonki Izizwe under pressure from the start of the match. Arsenal smelled first blood when they shocked Zonki Izizwe with the first goal in the 10th minute of the first half. Zonki’s goalkeeper was caught off guard when he went outside the goal cage and beaten by Psandile Mgadi, who placed the ball in the right corner.

Zonki tried to outplay Arsenal with long ground clearances but made too many mistakes in midfield, which allowed Arsenal to switch to counter attacks.

Zonkie was able to come in on the 35th minute when Apinde Mpataoa tapped the ball past Arsenal’s goalkeeper for the equalizer, which was also the half-time score.

Pouring rain fell during the second half and hampered the game somewhat. Arsenal peppered Zonki’s goal with more possession. Only good goalkeeping from Silindre Sxekwa kept Zonki in the game.

Arsenal enjoyed their territorial advantage, but unforced errors in midfield almost cost them the match.

A few technical adjustments made by the Arsenal manager keep Zonki Izizwe guessing while heavy rain almost made the game unplayable. However,  both teams managed the ball very well under the conditions    

Two golden opportunities late in the second half were missed by Arsenal’s strikers in the scoring range. A brilliant shot was taken by Siviwe Ncubeni, but it hit the crossbar and rebounded into the field. Kamogelo Mosingi planted the knockout blow on the rebound in the 85th minute with a superb header past Zonki Izzie  goalkeeper.

Zonki Izizwe has trying hard to equalise in the last five minutes but Arsenal’s defence held on.  When match official Juwade Petersen blew the final whistle, Arsenal players  jumped in the air to celebrate their win. 

Arsenal made sure they won the battle of the Witsand derby, but FC Bayern remaining the top Witsand team in the Atlantis LFA premier division, holding the highest log position.

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