By staff reporter
After suffering a 2 – 1 defeat on Wednesday, 11 March to local team, the City Pirates, the Rhodes first team faced Team Oppie on Friday, 13 March at Kings Field. The match turned out to be a test of fitness for both teams. The Rhodes first team opened their score sheet after striker, Gerald Mangwana’s long-range free kick in the first five minutes of the match.
Team Oppi, who suffered a 2 – 0 defeat against the Blues, the NMMU first team, in Port Elizabeth on 7 March, showed great character and confidence, coming back with an excellent build-up from their new midfield, Tshegofatso Masoba. Masoba combined well with players Ncutshe Makopi and Lucas Manyama who laid it to Oppie’s all-time striker Malcolm Freeman, finishing with a superb goal from the keeper’s left angle. Team Oppie, hunting for a goal keeper, conceded two more goals just before half time. Rhodes introduced a fresh new squad in the second half, scoring two more goals twenty minutes into the second half. Team Oppie got their second consolation goal from an own-goal by Rhodes defender, Andrew Lowndes. The match ended 5 – 2 to Rhodes, but the tough will get going as Rhodes will be starting their SASSU (South African Students Sports Union) season in two weeks time. “It was a great warm-up match for us and we need some more of these just before the season starts,” said the head coach, Mandla Magayi.
While awaiting their first pre-season glory, Team Oppie will be facing MSA on Saturday, 21 March at 15h00 at Kings Field.