Yesterday we were treated to an ABC Motsepe League Western Cape play-off game that would put most PSL games to shame, as Zizwe United took on FN Rangers in an encounter based on tactical nous and true grit, and pure passion, and that left supporters with goosebumps all over.

But In the end there could only be one winner at William Herbert – and it was Zizwe who came out on top, beating Rangers on penalties after a 2-all draw, which went to extra time too…and who will represent the Western Cape at the national play-offs.

“I’m very happy for the boys,” says Zizwe coach, Julius Dube. “They were very confident because they knew that we would go through. It’s been a long season and we had a lot of ups and downs, but at the end of the day we know what we want. This now gives us a lot of time to prepare because the national play offs are in the first or second week of June. It’s a good feeling.”

Confident as the team may have been, that doesn’t mean it was an easy victory, and both teams can be proud of the spectacle that was created through their consistent efforts throughout the competitive season. 

“It was not easy because tactically they [FN Rangers] were aware. They came here to fight and get to the play-offs as well, and they gave their all during the season and even today – hence the game ended up two-all. And then we missed a penalty and then we had to come from behind.” 

So how did they plan to take Arreshaat Daniels’ energetic and wise (and relentless) Rangers down?

“Their off-the-ball movement was so good, close to the box and even in the box they would cover the goalkeeper and not press us,” he says. “They understand their strengths, which is the second ball. That’s why their first and second goals were scored by cutbacks; we tried to work on that but I think the boys did not get it right.” 

The mental game made all the difference.

“For me it was all about nerves, because I know that my boys are technically gifted, and I knew we had the edge on that. I knew that if we keep the ball that they will grow tired, because their game is based on playing the second ball and putting the balls into the box.”


Tough as it was, Dube is glad to have faced a team like Rangers.

“If you watch FN Rangers you’d notice that they have a great team spirit – and they fight for each other. This gave us problems, but I’m happy we played a high-intensity and talented team like this, because it prepares us for the play-offs.” 

He also believes that the Western Cape is the best league in the country especially if you want to prepare for the national play-offs. 

“Our league here in Cape Town every week you have to fight,” he says. “The standard is high, and the intensity and cleverness of the teams and coaches is up there. So I think we are well prepared for the nationals.”   

Edited by Nicklaus Kruger