Santos vs Hanover Park: The People’s Team Triumph Over Brasse Vannie Park in the Nedbank Cup Final

Joshua Hendricks, 15 November 2021
Images: Rashied Isaacs

It was the type of game that should have been televised – when former PSL side Santos FC and a former NFD outfit Hanover Park FC met on Saturday (13 November 2021), it was a footballing extravaganza displaying tactical nous of the highest order 

It was the final match of the Western Cape Nedbank Cup preliminary games- and ultimately Santos emerged triumphant, downing Hanover Park 3-1 and earning a place in the last 32 of the Nedbank Cup.

The action-packed encounter took place at the Downberg Sports Complex in Hanover Park – also known as the “Graveyard”. But it was far from dead, with play complemented by the background music of cheering supporters just outside the ground.

The “Brasse Vannie Park” (as Hanover Park is affectionately known) were completely dominant in terms of ball possession, but just could not capitalize on their dominance with big moves. 

Meanwhile the “People’s Team” of Santos soaked up all the pressure, employing a low block and always hitting their opposition on the counter, and looked to exploit the space left behind by Hanover Park’s fullbacks each time they attacked. 

Santos was clinical on the day, and took all their chances with great confidence. With Santos taking the early lead and then subsequently going 2-0 up, it forced Hanover Park into pushing more numbers forward – which led to ill-timed tackles in and around the box…and those moments led to goals. 

However, critical moments in the game defined the winner. 

  • The missed penalty by Hanover Park captain Fernal Abrahams of (who had a great game otherwise) next to Tariq Dien in the midfield. 
  • The two squandered chances by Brent Adonis in the first half (one of which hit the crossbar). 
  • Riyaaz Nel scoring the first penalty due to a rash challenge in the box, and Glenville Africa following up with a sumptuous free kick in the second half to add even more pressure on the “Brasse vannie Park”. 
  • Charlton April scoring the second penalty and third goal – further putting the Peoples team in the driving seat once again. 

And credit to Santos Coach Abduragman Jacobs, who managed to somehow get his team over the line even though they went down to 10 men in the first half. The level of discipline they showed tactically to shift as a unit from side to side made it virtually impossible for their competitors to create any clear-cut chances. 

After the match, the triumphant coach was all smiles.. 

“No words can describe this feeling right now,” he said. “It’s just a reward for all the hard work that my boys have put in over the last two months. Even coming up against all the elements as well and playing with ten men for the majority of the game, we still came out victorious.”

So who would he like to draw in the last 32 of the Nedbank Cup?

“Kaizer Chiefs!” he responded with a chuckle.

The Western Cape may be sorted, but other provinces are yet to confirm their representatives, as the preliminary games are still ongoing. Still, Santos have a lot to be proud of – and they’re ready for anything.