Lufuno Ndou (left) of Defenders and Mahlori Baloyi with the ball. Photo: Kaizer Nengovhela.

Mpheni Defenders the champions

Sport - Date: 24 May 2024


Mpheni Defenders were crowned champions of the Safa Limpopo ABC Motsepe league after beating Tzaneen United 1-0 in the Champion of Champions match played at Oscar Mpetha Stadium at the University of Limpopo on Saturday.

Defenders will represent Limpopo in the national championship, competing against teams from the eight other provinces. The playoffs will be held at the beginning of June in the Northern Cape.

United’s star striker, Tshepang Lehasa, who has just recovered from a long-term injury, was a constant threat to the Defenders’ defence. However, Defenders’ goalkeeper, Carlton Munyai, denied the opponents numerous sure goals in the first 20 minutes. Notably, striker Lefa Aphane could not believe his eyes when Munyai stretched to the limit to execute a brilliant save.

Thapelo Sekgobela missed a golden opportunity a little later. He received a beautiful pass from David Matlala outside the box, but instead of passing it back to Sekgobela, who was in a perfect scoring position, Matlala opted to try his luck with a volley. This forced Munyai to perform overtime duties, palming the ball out for a corner kick. The half-time score remained 0-0.

In the second half, Defenders introduced Lefentswe Munyadziwa and Nkateko Shilenge, which changed the match completely.

In the 67th minute, Defenders took the lead. Tau Rankoko initiated a solo move from the centre of the park and delivered a perfectly timed pass to Lucky Buasi, who easily beat the stranded keeper, Given Mashimbye, with a volley.

United did not sit back after Defenders’ goal. Their leading goal scorer, Mahlori Baloyi, continued to press forward but without success. United introduced Emmanuel Mkhize, Jan Baloyi, Tshepo Msiza, and Siyabonga, and although the replacements managed to change the complexion of the game, United could not find their way through the Defenders’ defence.


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Kaizer Nengovhela

Kaizer Nengovhela started writing stories for Limpopo Mirror in 2000. Prior to that he had a five year stint at Phala-Phala FM as sports presenter. In 2005 Kaizer received an award from the province's premier as Best Sports Presenter. The same year he was also nominated as Best Sports Reporter by the Makhado Municipality. Kaizer was awarded the Mathatha Tsedu award in 2014.

Email: [email protected]