With Safa Cape Town’s regional women’s league at the mid-way mark, Hout Bay United FC can afford to breathe a collective sigh of relief before heading into the second round of matches.
As things stand, they find themselves on top of the log, one point ahead of second-placed FC Tafezucht, who beat them 1-0, at Rocklands, in Mitchell’s Plain, earlier this season.
The women’s regional league has two streams, A and B with Hout Bay in Stream A, along with seven other sides. Stream B has 10 sides. The winners of both streams will lock horns come the end of the season, to determine the ultimate winner.
First round matches were completed at the weekend, leaving Hout Bay’s closest rivals Tafelzucht with a game in hand, as their match against Real Brazilians, which was scheduled for last week, was postponed after some players tested positive for coronavirus.
Dr Nasief van der Schyff, chairperson of Safa Cape Town’s Medical and Sports Science Committee, said there should be no cause for concern, as long as the necessary precautions as prescribed by government and health authorities are implemented.
“As long as all protocols are followed, football will continue,” he said.
The Hout Bay side have collected 19 points after winning six, drawing one and losing one of their matches.
Despite being on top, the side still has a lot of work to do if they want to be still on top come the end of the season. After all, Tafelzucht, their nearest rivals and the side that handed them their only defeat this season, are breathing heavily down their necks.
The Mitchell’s Plain outfit have also been in fine form this season, winning five of their six matches in the first round. Their only defeat came against Khayelitsha’s Goal Hunters a few weeks ago but they bounced back to beat Clyde Pinelands 2-1, in their last match, a fortnight ago. They are on 18 points after winning six and losing one of their seven matches.
But, having said that, Hout Bay’s attack, led by the likes of Jasmine Cornellius, have been in fine form this season.
The side kicked their campaign off on a high note, winning their first five matches between April 24 and May 22.
They opened the season with a 1-0 home win against Manenberg. That was followed by victories against Goal Hunters (1-0), Strand Kasi Queens (5-0), Invincible Cravenby (2-1) and Clyde Pinelands (3-1) before they were brought back to earth by Tafelzucht, going down 1-0. That turned out to be the wake up call they needed as they bounced back to beat Real Brazilians 5-0 before playing to a goalless draw against Manenberg, at the weekend.
Hout Bay’s next match is a tricky one, against Goal Hunters on Sunday. And, coach Dali Fekenisi said they have prepared for anything.
“Yes, we have beaten them in the first round but this is going to be a different match altogether. Goal Hunter won’t want to lose to us for the second time in as many matches. But, having said that, our preparations have gone well, so we are ready for the challenge.”
Looking back at how far they’ve come this season, he noted that their pre-seaon preparations came in handy, as they dominated most of their opponents.
“The first round of league matches was tough, especially considering that we’re coming from a long spell of inaction due to Covid-19, so it was difficult to adjust. Luckily for us, our first game of the season, against Manenberg, was at home, so we wanted to win that match to ensure that we got our season off to a good start. That’s exactly what happened as we went on to win our next four matches before going down against Tafelzucht, who were playing in their home ground in Mitchell’s Plain” he said.
He said another thing that worked in their favour this season was that they didn’t have major injuries.
“And, on top of that, we knew our opponents very well. So, each and every game we play, we make sure we play for maximum points,” he said.