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Shandis Up Against Hilltop

Bradley Manaka

Hilltop FC battled it out against Shandis FC in a tightly contested Rhodes Internal League fixture on 11 April on the Prospect B Field.

The first half was a vigorous one, characterised by hard tackles, but few clear goal-scoring opportunities. In the 17th minute, Hilltop forward Mthokozisis’ shot left much to be desired after he blasted the ball above the goalie after receiving a defence-unlocking pass not too far from the penalty spot. Although an away fixture for Shandis, the team enjoyed much of the possession and for a great amount of time kept Hilltop inside their own half. The pressure eventually left the Hilltop defence vulnerable and this forced their goalkeeper, Karabo, to pull off two consecutive angle-closing saves in the last minute of the first half, which kept the two teams deadlocked at 0-0 as they moved into the second half.

After the break, Shandis picked up where they left off, playing a pressing game and forcing Hilltop to take shots from range. Hilltop eventually succumbed to the pressure when Shandis left winger Mbokane, after some slick interchange of the ball from a position just outside the 18-yard area, elegantly bent the ball past the keeper and into the top corner.

With Shandis in the lead and the match coming close to an end, Hilltop saw more of the ball, and the ball began to shift between both ends of the field. Hilltop were awarded several set pieces, however failed to capitalise. This quickly changed when bad communication and indecision from the Shandis defence saw Hilltop pounce at the opportunity and tap the ball into the back of the net and levelling the score.

Shandis, in the last minutes of the match, attempted to regain the lead, but the match remained 1-1 until the final whistle, resulting in both sides sharing the points. Hilltop and Shandis currently occupy the seventh and eighth spots respectively on the log after two matches.

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