Cape Town Roses advance to Coke Cup semis

Cape Town Roses’ Lisakhanya Situlweni outruns Strand Qasi Queens defender in a thrilling 10-0 win during the Safa Cape Town Coke Cup quarter-finals in Khayelitsha. Lisakhanya scored a hattrick. Picture: Lonwabo Marele

Cape Town Roses have advanced to the Safa Cape Town Coca-Cola Cup semi-finals with an impressive 10-0 victory over Strand Qasi Queens at Khayelitsha Stadium this past Sunday.

The Gugulethu team initially got off to a slow start, with Strand Qasi Queens having the first shot on target. However, it quickly became apparent that Strand would have a tough time as Cape Town Roses dominated possession for the majority of the game.

The exceptional teamwork exhibited by the Roses paid dividends, earning them a spot in the next round. The standout moment of the day was the remarkable performance by their 13-year-old striker Lisakhanya Situlweni.

Lisakhanya, a Grade 7 pupil at Siyazingisa Primary School, proved to be a constant thorn in the side of Strand’s defence, maintaining relentless pressure throughout the game. Her outstanding performance was highlighted by a well-deserved hat-trick.

Cape Town Roses’ head coach, Xolile Madikane, commented that once Lisakhanya starts scoring, it’s nearly impossible to stop her.

“Lisakhanya is one of those ‘goal hungry’ strikers who can’t be kept quiet for long. She is skilful and unselfish, she made the job easier by keeping their defense against the wall,” he said.

Madikane attributed the team’s advancement to the next stage to their exceptional teamwork.

“We were playing this team for the first time and never saw them play and we knew they wouldn’t stand a chance so we had to attack from the word go. Honestly they also almost scored first, that made us to be careful with ball possession and try harder to keep the ball on their half,” he said.

Having secured a spot in the semi-finals, Cape Town Roses, the reigning Engen Knockout Champions, are now gearing up to face the formidable Maties FC. They aim to pull off an upset and secure a place in the finals, which are scheduled to be held at Athlone Stadium next month.

“They are still young and they enjoy the game. So to them knowing that they are winning and qualify to play the next round is motivation enough regardless of who they play against. Yes, they are ready for the semi-finals against Maties FC,” said Madikane.

Meanwhile, Gugulethu’s Willow Stars made history by advancing to the boys under-18 semifinals for the first time after beating Grassy Park United, 4-2 on penalties. The exciting game ended 1-1 in fulltime.

Willow Stars player, Qhamani Bontshi said they want as much support from Gugulethu and Nyanga as they are ‘going all the way to the finals in Athlone’.

“It was not easy. It was tough from the start. We played with amajita (gents) and they put in the effort. We are now heading to the semi-finals. In fact, we are going to (the final in) Athlone, majita,” said Bontshi.

Reigning 2022 champions, Diadora FC booked their spot in the Coke Cup men’s semifinals following a 4-1 win over Lavender Hill at Dunoon Sports Ground.

Siyambonga Madikane scored a hattrick, with his teammate Shaheed Abrahams scoring one, and Sheldon Williams netting in one for Lavender Hill.

Diadora’s coach, Mangaliso ‘Shakes’ Ntombana said it was a good and tactical game against tough opponents.

Shot stopper, Lisakhanya Tshuku displayed a winning performance for Willow Stars in the quarter-finals. They advance to the semi-finals. Picture: Lonwabo Marele
Nyanga Local Football Association’s Willow Stars advance to the Coke Cup semi-finals after a 4-2 penalty shoot win over Grassy Park United. Picture: Lonwabo Marele