Road to Coke Cup finals tough and uncompromising

Hanover Park’s Mogamat May, left, and Rygersdal’s Thurlow Wood tussle for possession during their sides’ Safa Cape Town Coke Cup quarter-final clash, at the Dunoon sports complex, on Sunday. Rygersdal won.

If the potholed, water-filled streets leading to the Dunoon Sports complex, near Killarney motorway, venue of a portion of Coke Cup quarter-final matches can serve as a metaphor for the road to the finals, then the remaining squads in the competition were in for a bumpy ride.

Getting there was half the battle won and after negotiating some treacherous roads in the busy township, the teams finally made it to the pitch, where the real battle was about to go down.

One thing was for sure: it was never going to be easy, especially in the clashes between Hanover Park and Rygersdal as well as between champions Woodlands United and Saxon Rovers in the senior division.

As the soccer gods would have it, it meant the end of the road for Hanover Park and Saxons in this year’s competition. Like the road that led them here, it was to be a tough and uncompromising affair on all accounts, with some excellent ball being played by all sides.Woodlands advanced to the-finals 2-1 winners.

As expected, the match between Hanover Park and Rygersdal was a tight affair reminiscent of their encounter in 2017, when Rygersdal were crowned Coke Cup champions.

This time round it came down to a dreaded penalty shoot-out after the two sides played to a goalless draw. As is often the case with shoot-outs, it could have gone either way, especially with Gary Jazzman, a former Coke Cup winner with Jordan Callies, in goal.

However, Rygersdal shot stopper Carlyle Davids produced two excellent saves to deny Hanover Park and give his side a 5-4 victory.

Sunday’s quarter-final showdown also marked the first time in Rygersdal’s history that the first team and under-18 sides both progressed to the semi-finals at the same time.

“We have managed to keep the team focused and together throughout a start-stop season. We have players within our squad that can play professionally and as a club and team, our focus is to ensure that they go on and become pros again,” said coach Gershawn Coetzee.

In other senior action, Dynamos FC beat Juventus 2-1 and Clover FC beat Lion City 4-1.

In the women’s division Spurs WFC beat FC Tafelzucht 1-0; Dangerous FC beat Milano Ladies 4-2 on penalties; Vasco won 2-1 against RV United and Shosholoza FC beat Ikamva Ladies 2-0.

In the under-18 division Rygersdal beat home side Dunoon YSA 1-0; Hellenic FC beat Cape Town Spurs 5-2 on penalties; Ubuntu Academy beat Bazuka United 3-1 and Cape Town City beat Ulana Academy 1-0.