The Madibaz will be playing for pride when they take on Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) in their Varsity Football clash in Pretoria on Monday night.
This follows their 3-0 defeat at the hands of North-West University (Pukke) at the Fanie du Toit Sport Grounds in Potchefstroom on Thursday.
After four rounds and three losses on the trot, the team from NMMU have been unable to turn their fortunes around at this year’s tournament.
But, said Madibaz head coach Graeme Harrison, they were still in the competition with three matches left to play.
“We’re not going to give up and throw in the towel. There are still nine points at stake so we are going to play for whatever we can get.”
Harrison spoke frankly after Thursday’s loss, saying his team had not done themselves justice with their performance in the tournament so far.
“We’ve had an uncanny knack lately of letting in silly goals and putting ourselves under pressure early on in the game,” he said.
“Against Pukke, we shot ourselves in the foot once again by conceding an early goal.”
Harrison said the Madibaz had held out well until early in the second half.
“But then another lapse of concentration, not playing to the whistle and players just leaving other players to run past with the ball allowed them to score a goal.”
Harrison said his side’s failure to convert their opportunities in front of the net had put extra pressure on them.
“And then we let through another silly goal and our backs were against the wall.”
A final goal in the 88th minute sealed Pukke’s triumph.
Harrison said, despite the negative score lines, his team had been trying hard and would do their utmost come Monday night.
“We are going to try and come home with positive results so that, when we do play our home games, we can get proud support and hopefully some results will go our way.”
He said the team were looking forward to playing in front of their home fans.
“The first half of the tournament has been tough, being on the road with all this travelling. Monday will be our fifth consecutive away game.”
Harrison said he expected the TUT game to be another challenging fixture, with all sides on the hunt for a semifinal spot.
“They are a strong side, have shown good form during the tournament and are also looking to secure a top four position so it doesn’t get any easier.
“But a win would help us get the confidence up again.”
Issued by Coetzee Gouws
On behalf of Madibaz Sport