Spurs can rule the roost, says striker

Hangberg's Jennifer Martins, left, scored two of her side's four goals against Vasco da Gama at the weekend.

After beating 2014 champions Vasco da Gama 4-1 in their round of 32 match, at Rooikrans sports field in Grassy Park, on Sunday, Spurs now progress to the round of 16.

They seem to have put the disappointment of stumbling right in the last hurdle, when the lost 2-0 to Khayelitsha’s RV United in last year’s final, behind them.

The Wynberg-based side played with confidence and the goals seem to come with ease in the run-up to the last round of 16.

In their game against Vasco on Sunday, Spurs’ SA under-20 players Jamie-Lee Witbooi, Caryn van Ryneveld and Jennifer Smith ran riot over their Parow-based opponents.

The trio terrorised Vasco throughout the encounter, with their darting runs and quick inter-passing.

Their game plan, it seemed, was to put their opponents under pressure throughout the encounter, which worked at the end of the day.

Vasco seemed to struggle to deal with their opponents’ nippy players while Spurs, on the other hand, were clinical, making good use of the opportunities that came their way. The two goals Martin slotted were the real nails in the coffin of a touted Vasco side, whose only answer was a solitary consolation goal midway through the second half.

This, said Martin, who lives in Hangberg’s Texas settlement, was because her side came into the match prepared to go all the way.

“Overall we had a really good game and I felt like I did my part for the team. We are always well-prepared and coming into the match we knew we had what it takes to defeat Vasco. We put our strategy to work and played the ball to feet and played as a unit.

“We now know that we will be playing Santos in the round of 16. We are also playing them in a league match this weekend so that will be a good chance for us to see what we are up against but we already know that we can take them. In fact, I am confident that we can win the whole Coke Cup tournament as well as our league. Our minds are set on achieving those goals and we are in a good space as a team,” she said.

The striker feels that what sets her team apart is the fact that they play for each other and put individual egos aside for the sake of victory over personal accolades.

“A striker always wants to score, that is their natural instinct but I am not a selfish player and I prefer to feed the ball and create opportunities for other players if I am able to. This is what makes our team a little different to others.

“I also feel that there is always something to learn, no matter who you are and if there is something I want to know I am not afraid to ask.

“My goal is to always be learning. At the same time I make sure to pass on that knowledge to other team members so that they are also able to learn from me. Asking for help is not a negative thing,” she said.

Spurs know what it is like to play in these late stages of the competition and will look to experienced members such as Martin in their matches going forward.

Last year, for instance, they were one of the best teams in the competition, going all the way to the final before losing against eventual champions, Khayelitsha’s RV United. They will look to do better this time around and go all the way to win the competition.