The encounter began moderately with both sides displaying composure in possession, and no respect to the opponents, but lost balls to unforced errors. Miscellaneous ultimately gained momentum and started knocking at their opponents end.
In the 10th minute, midfield maestro Bhekuyise Kunene released Chakova Moyenga on the right side of the 18-yard box, he controlled next to the byline, and his delightful ball across the goalmouth eluded his strikers.
Takunda Sadiki could not believe his misfortune after he had pounced into a long ball that set him one-on-one with the goalkeeper who did enough with his stretched legs to block a far post bound shot for a corner.
Miscellaneous picked a gear and in half an hour they had countless corner kicks and free kicks in good areas that they failed to take advantage of. Five minutes from the half hour mark, Kunene was left scratching his head when his 20-yard well-taken pile-driver flew inches wide. Miscellaneous pressed Highlanders deep and the hosts found it difficult to climb to the other end. Their isolated striker, Bame Morwalela was starved and when he got the ball he was bundled. The referee sent the two clubs to the change rooms at a stalemate. But Highlanders returned a bolder side. They produced a magnificent move from the first whistle, with neat interchanges to the Miscellaneous goal only for Thato Gabothokwe’s cross to be thwarted by the alert goalkeeper.
Four minutes into the half, they broke the deadlock. After another deft move on the left side, Tumo Keiketlile posted a telling cross to Morwalela and the striker climbed high to redirect a header into the near post.
chose to sit deep and protect the goal, but were lucky to escape the savage Miscellaneous onslaught. Tse Nala bombarded the Highlanders defence from all ends, but were wasteful of numerous free kicks in front of the box. They also failed to make use of a handful of corner kicks they won.
Mooketsi Gareonne scampered a sitter from a poorly cleared unmarked at the far end. Chicco Molefe’s low drive to the far post was finger tipped for a corner. After a neat one-touch football, Simon Osupile saw his effort from the top of the box foiled by the goalkeeper.
Miscellaneous coach, Otsile Koolese said they did everything to the textbook but failed to put the ball in the back of the net. “It was just not our day. We were all over our opponents, but the ball could not just get into the net,” he said. His Highlanders counterpart, Kabo Dintwa said their defensive play nearly cost them. He said his player sat too deep and allowed the opponents too much room.
“It’s three points in the bag and we count ourselves lucky in this encounter. Everything could have gone wrong especially after we scored. We told the boys to protect the lead and they sat way too deep. The opponent pressed us, and we struggled to come out,” he said.
Miscellaneous: Tshepo Mooketsi, Bokani Loeto, Molefe, Mponang Mponang, Thabo Mosielele, Osupile, Moyenga (Kaelo Kgano), Gareonne, Sadiki, Kunene, Atang Morwamang (Eletsang Gaobatlelwe)