Harare side in hunt for third consecutive final

RV United are on track to defend their Coke Cup title following a hard-fought 2-1 victory against Heideveld Female Football Academy (HFFA), in a women’s division quarter-final clash, at Site C Stadium, in Khayelitsha, last weekend.

Established in 2011, the Khayelitsha side has reached the finals on two occasions – last year and in 2014 when they lost to Vasco Da Gama.

Co-founder and head coach Vuyolwethu Kayi and his charges are one step closer to defending their title.

They recaptured their crown when they beat Spurs Women’s Football Club(WFC) 2-0 in last year’s final.

Kayi’s charges had to pull out all the stops against a plucky Heideveld who were close to producing the biggest upset of the competition as the scores were 1-all for most of the game.

United midfielder Babalwa Mnxunya opened the scoring but Heideveld never gave up and were rewarded when Fazlin Adams scored the equaliser.

Their never-say-die attitude that kept them in the game but a late penalty by United goalkeeper Atipila Sidondi was enough to see RV march on to the semis.

Kayi said his players did well considering that they faced Spurs in a tough league encounter the previous day.

“We stepped up a gear in the second half, the players showed character and never gave up,” he said.

Their road to the quarter-finals saw them playing to a 2-0 and 12 victory against Manenberg Ladies and Roma FC in the last round of 32 and 16 respectively.

Despite both these teams playing in a league below United, Kayi said he did not underestimate his opponents because they had nothing to lose.

“We gave it our best and took it as any other game,” he said.

United have a semi-final date against Santos FC who beat Burnley Women’s FC 3-0 in their quarterfinal clash.

“Santos is not going to be easy as they eliminated a good side like Spurs WFC who are in the top three on the Sasol women’s league. But anything is possible on the day, we have to remain positive and believe in each other,” he said.

United, currently in their second year in the Sasol league, are in fourth on the log, 10 points behind logleaders, Gugulethu’s Cape Town Roses.

The girls’ from Harare have won 15, lost six and played to four draws.

“We are doing well in the league and hoping to end it with a bang.

Last year was the first time we played in the top women’s league and we finished fourth which was a great confidence booster heading into this season,” he said.

Meanwhile, HFFA coach Gavin Combrink said his side certainly did not roll over and play dead. Based on their overall performance, they stood a very good chance of winning the game.

“We stepped up an extra level which brought out the best in us.

“To be knocked out by a penalty in a tournament is the worst possible way but that is the nature of football. If the game went to penalties anything would have been possible,” he said.

Credit: Keagan Mitchell, Vukani

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