I nearly jumped the gun!
Following three goalless draws and three 1-0 scores in the opening week of the Absa Premiership, I wanted to pen out a column along the lines “there we go again”.
South African players are notorious for firing blanks, at domestic and international level.
So in my opinion piece, I was to decry this debilitating disease of our players of being goal-shy.
However, if what we have witnessed – more especially in the MTN8 – is anything to go by, we might be in for a scintillating and very exciting season.
Even before the stunning goals, Kaizer Chiefs and Maritzburg had treated us to a rare eight-goal feast – that is in South African football terms – in an MTN8 quarterfinal that went in a see-saw typical of cup matches.
First, the visitors to FNB Stadium strike twice before the interval.
Just when all those who swear by the Native American Chief logo were wondering what had become of their beloved Amakhosi, George Lebese drew one back a few minute into the second stanza. It then went to 2-all, then 3-2 for Chiefs before The Team of Choice levelled matters forcing the duel into extra time.
It was only in this added 30 minutes that Chiefs found the net twice with no reply to clinch the humdinger.
First to draw attention on the stunners, was Bidvest Wits’ Namibian international striker Henrico Botes.
The player collected the ball, glided past two sleepy defenders and unleashed a bullet-like shot with his right foot that a stretched Ronwen Williams must have just heard the sound as it zipped into the far top corner.
A work on beauty.
Not to be outdone, former Orlando Orlando Pirates man who is on loan to Bloemfontein Celtic, hit Itumeleng Khune with a thunderous right-footer that left the Bafana Bafana Number One goalie stunned in the 34th minute.
The commentators did not miss the fact that when this goal was scored, Chiefs mentor Steve Komphela who had been on his feet the whole time, just sat down and took a long swig at his water bottle.
I am certain if he had things his way – even if he is a teetotaller – he would have gone for something much stronger than water.
But then, the roles were swapped in the 63rd minute. It was Celtic boss Clinton Larsen’s chance to sit down and take a sip on his holy water as Komphela replicated the former’s earlier move of exchanging high fives and hugs with his technical source of this unbridled joy when Bernard Parker’s scud missile sent through his well-cultured left foot.
To date, the debate is still raging on which was the better goal between the two.
But it’s not only those three goals that have been outstanding this new soccer calender.
Mpho Makola sent The Ghost into fits of delirium this past Tuesday as he caught Chippa United goal-minder
Daylan Hawes not with one, but two well-executed strikes at the former SA football Mecca, the Orlando Stadium.
Makola came off the bench and produced the kind of performance that usually makes football lovers and fans to approach the coach at the final whistle and ask: “Why did you leave him on the bench?”
For many years, we and many Mzansi’s football connoisseurs, have been decrying the lack of goals and even worse well-executed strikes in the domestics league.
We have had to rely on the English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, Serie A and the Bundesliga for our dose of good goals to fix our craving.
But if these few goals I have mentioned here are anything to go by, we are in for some good times.
To paraphrase the field Negro in Malcolm X’s famous speech: “Let it rain goals!”
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