City looking to invade Dube Birds' nest

football07 August 2023 15:47| © Backpage TXT
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Steve Kompela © Backpagepix

Cape Town City will aim to make it two wins from two in their start to the 2023/24 DStv Premiership campaign when they travel to the Dobsonville Stadium to take on Moroka Swallows on Wednesday afternoon.

Kick-off is at 3pm CAT (SA, GMT+2)

The Dube Birds kicked their 23/24 league campaign off with a 1-1 draw against Golden Arrows at the Mpumalanga Stadium this past weekend, as coach Steve Komphela began his new tenure with the Soweto club.

In conceding a 51st minute equaliser, Swallows were made to work for their point as Tshegofatso Mabasa joined the fray as a second-half substitute to save the day for his new side.

Nonetheless, the Dube Birds managed to bag maximum points against City at the Dobsonville Stadium last season as goals from Waseem Isaacs, Tshediso Patjie and a Siboniso Mtshali own goal saw Swallows claim a 3-2 victory at home.

Speaking after Swallows' draw against Arrows, Komphela praised Mabasa’s contribution off the bench and mentioned that he intends on building a side that plays exciting football.

“Chances are, with the way we play, our opponents will get tired and goals will be coming. And that's exactly what happened,” Komphela said.

“But I'm happy with Mabasa because goal scorers must understand that when they get hired and get opportunities to play at a football club their job is to score and it starts now. If he scores a goal a match he's going to end with 30 at the end of the season.

“I wish him well and I wish he stays injury free. But his contribution is quite significant and maybe the beauty is that he was playing in the Cosafa Cup (during the preseason).

The Citizens picked up a 1-0 win in their DStv Premiership opener, after a 1-0 win over Polokwane City at Athlone Stadium on Sunday.

Rise and Shine, who marked their return to top flight football, showed little stage fright in their first game back in the big time since the 19/20 campaign.

However, a 92nd-minute header by Jó Paciência saw Eric Tinkler breathe a sigh of relief on the touchline as the Western Cape side claimed maximum points on home soil.

In the head-to-head battle, City currently hold the advantage over Polokwane City, bagging three wins in their last five matches in all competitions. During this period, Rise and Shine recorded just one win over the Citizens.

Reflecting on their first game, Tinkler was full of praise for some of young players and singled out Jaedin Rhodes as a player to look out for in the future.

“I think Jaedin can go a long, long way,” Tinkler said.

“During our six-week pre-season, there were two players for me who stepped up and showed a lot more maturity which they lacked this season and two seasons ago, which is Jaeden Rhodes and Taahir Goedeman.

“The two of them have stepped up, they’ve worked extremely hard throughout our pre-season

“I think Jaedin is showing, in particular, that he should be in my starting XI every week. I think his whole level of professionalism, his mentality has changed


Swallows FC:

Tshegofatso Mabasa: In gaining the praise from Komphela, Mabasa will be keen on improving in the upcoming fixtures. Known for being a tireless runner, Komphela can bank of Mabasa’s physicality against City’s technically sound backline.

Andile Jali: While City play an attractive brand of carpet football, Jali will no doubt be key in breaking up play in the middle of the park. As one of Swallows marquee signings this season, Jali is a big game player and will be counted on to make the difference against top sides such as City.

Cape Town City:

Jaedin Rhodes: After playing a starring role against Polokwane City, Rhodes received a massive boost in confidence when Tinkler suggested at his importance of being a starter in his side. A speedy, skillful winger in full stride, Swallows defenders will be on high alert for the City’s prospect.

Khanyisa Mayo: Mayo came inches close to scoring on a couple of occasions against Polokwane City and often got into inviting positions inside the penalty area. As City’s point of reference in attack, Mayo could well look to the Swallows game to kick on in the hope of emulating his 22/23 season’s performances.