picture: buntu gotywa
In a thrilling final at the Athlone Stadium last year, HBUFC beat Avondale Athletico 1-0 to be crowned the 2017 champions, however, should they wish to go all the way this year, they still have a mountain to face against Santos in the quarter-finals.
Team manager, Cecil Abrahams said they lost most of their players from last year’s final to senior teams, but they have managed to bring in a couple of youngsters from the junior ranks.
Abrahams said they could have scored more goals against Ulana Academy at the weekend missed some chances in front of posts.
“We had basically a lot of chances to score but the conditions didn’t allow us to play as we wanted,” he said.
Abrahams said they have a group of youngsters who are hungry to win the Coke Cup.
“We take it one game at a time with a reliable young side. Going forward, it is going to be tough, especially against Santos who have a decent side and there is still Grassy Park in the mix. We have a 14-year-old goalkeeper and a 15-year-old right-back, but at the end of the day it depends on how we approach the game,” he said.
Abrahams said the team practises three to four times a week with the Vodacom squad.
“Our under-18 team is practising with our Elite and Vodacom team and play in the local league weekly. A lot of these players have got the heart, when they go onto the field it is like they are possessed,” he said.
Abrahams praised his youngsters for their success thus far, while complimenting the HBUFC supporters.
“We are topping the local league and we went to the quarterf-inals of the league knockout. From our side, the team has to go out there and give it their best. The supporters don’t need to expect too much from the young side but it can be amazing, I just want them to play to the best of their ability,” he said.
Joining Hout Bay in the quarter-finals are Hanover Park, Silver Spurs, Santos, Goal Hunters, Saxon Rovers, Grassy Park and 2015 champions Glendene United, who were pushed all the way by XI Swallows of Mfuleni.
TheLansdowne-based Glendene needed a last minute penalty to overcome their stubborn opponents 2-1.
All three goals come in the second half, after the sides went to the halftime break with the scoreline at 0-0.
Swallows coach Gcobani Magqabi said there was a number of reasons for their loss against Glendene.
“Glendene is, of course, better resourced compared to us. But despite that, it was 11 players against 11. And, because of their experience in such matches, they were able to grab that late winner,” said Magqabi.
The women’s division will also crown new champions after defending champions, Cape Town Roses were defeated 2-3 by a spirited UWC side.
UWC will look to make their way back to the final of a competition they won in 2016 when they beat Khayelitsha’s RV United in the final. It is no wonder then that, of the remaining sides, RV will be their biggest threat in their quest for glory.
The university side were knocked out by RV in the semi-final last year, in what proved to be a tightly-contested encounter. However, it doesn’t look likely the sides will meet before the final.