By Lauren vd Vyver
Pic by: Sean William Messham
With Rhodes soccer Internal underway at the beginning of second term, the teams are going out of their way to prepare and test their fitness and strength. On Saturday, 28 March, eight internal league teams competed in the Wafa-wafa Soccer tournament at Kingsfield. This tournament was organised by res sports representatives for pre-season training.
The battle started with Chris Hani, also known as K7, against the new Internal League team Skova. Skova, apparently the team to watch out for in this year’s internal league, dominated the whole of the first half and netted within the first ten minutes of the game. K7 pulled through with a thriller goal from their captain, Themba Butao. Skova lost their footing in the second half and got punished from a defence blunder. The score ended 3-2 to K7. The second game featured Team Oppi and Cory Matthews, resulting in a dominating 3-0 win by Team Oppi. The first semi-final of the day saw College play Goldfields. College were soon victors, ending the game 2-0. The second semi-final saw K7 and Team Oppi going head to head. Although the game was dominated in midfield by Team Oppi, the end-whistle signalled a 2-2 draw. K7 won the semi-final 7-6 on penalties. Tshego Fatso, Team Oppi striker and scorer of both their goals, was disappointed at the result. “We played very well but we missed a lot of opportunities,” he says, “It should not have gone down to the end but K7 need to be congratulated.”
The Wafa-wafa tournament final was played between K7 and College. K7, despite a test to their fitness during the day, demolished College 6-2. Kingsfield was alive with a majority of K7 support on the side of the field, including a fully-dressed Scottish bag-pipe player. Nosipho Msomi, a student from Thomas Pringle, was enthusiastic about cheering for the K7 players. “I’m supporting my friends today. I’ll come support them next term in the league as well,” she says.A strong K7 unit defended well, stopping quick advances from College strikers.
The College defense, however, were left mystified from the K7 attack. Kevin McEwan, captain of College, was critical but optimistic of his team’s performance, “We have not practiced at all so it’s good to make the finals. The league is a big learning curve for the guys and we will improve.” College is making their first appearance in the internal league this year and promise to show up on the big matches, “All we have to do is up our structure on the field,” explains McEwan.An exhausted Themba Butao, captain of the Wafa-wafa tournament winners, K7, was elated at their supremacy in the final, “I am excited about this year’s team. This year, attacking and finishing are our priorities. We will bring our tactics from practice onto the field.”
The pre-season tournaments, cunning dribbles and diving saves gives one a peep into the upcoming internal league. Once again, Rhodes soccer proved to be popular to the masses of students.