The defending champions and one of the candidates for this season league championship HiFi FC lost two valuable points away to traditional rivals Juventus FC in an exciting a 2-2 draw. The Ngema-Dirkiesdorp Promotion League match played on Saturday 06 April 2019 at Matafuleni Ground, kwaNgema about 35km from the Mkhondo CBD. The draw was a low blow for the defending champions HiFi as they failed to catch up with log leaders Kunene FC.
The match started with mind games by Juventus who wore the same colour kit as the visitors. The visitors did not have an alternative kit so they borrowed a kit from Arrows FC who had just lost 5-0 at home against Mandela Cross FC. The match was full of action from the start with the first real chance coming in the first minute but it was wasted by Juventus forward shooting straight to the keeper. HiFi twice hit the crossbar pushing for an opener in the first half and a call for a penalty was turned down when defender Thabiso Nkosi was brought down by a challenge from Juventus defender after surging forward in search of a goal. Thabiso got injured in the process and left the field while match referee waved played on leaving HiFi with 10 men until half time the score at 0-0.
The match turned a new leaf in the 2nd half when the home side opened the scoring 1st minute of to lead 1-0. After putting on two fresh players on the field as substitutes HiFi FC got an equaliser 30 minutes into the 2nd half bringing more light to the game. The defending league champions received a corner two minutes later and from the short corner managed to cross the ball into the box to find an unmarked HiFi attacker who headed home to lead 2-1. The goal scorer did not stay long on the field of play after he was sent off five minutes later for protesting a foul and shouting at the referee.
He was heard saying, "Awazi lutho nje lento oyijajayo ama$#@ (You know nothing, you are refereeing s#@&%)," as he walked off the field. The player was questioning a referee’s decision not to give his team a foul. The player went to change and came back to watch the game. We came across him outside the field and asked him why he was sent off? "Lento ayikwazi ukujaja ayikho into angikhiphele yona (this thing does not know how to officiate, I don’t know why he sent me off)," he said while on his way to sit next to the corner spot outside the field.
The game was flowing nicely with HiFi showing more hunger to score goals even after the sending off. They had a good chance of adding a second goal but the unexpected happened with 15 minutes left to play. Chaos erupted when the red carded player from HiFi got involved in a fight with the match referee. The player was sitting outside the field watching the match when an argument started with match official Chucky Mntambo who also play for Mandela Cross FC. Quick thinking by HiFi manager Mr Bashin Ngema stopped the fight which was escalating to involve HiFi and Mandela Cross FC players who were watching the game. The match was on hold for close to 15 minutes while the match referee was consulting with officials over the phone whether to continue with the match or call it off. The match referee decided to continue with the match after almost 15 minutes of delay. It was a dramatic end to the exciting match when Juventus FC equalised late in the 2nd half to make it 2-2 after the restart.
HiFi FC will remember this match which they could have comfortably won with more goals if there was no “stop and go” which allowed Juventus FC back into the game. They are now sitting at position 3 with 69 points after playing 31 games tied with Atletico Madrid FC who have played 32 games. They are trailing log leaders Kunene FC (74pts) by 5 points with one game on hand. There is only six rounds of matches to be played before the season ends in May. The league winners will qualify for the Mkhondo Promotion League Playoffs to be played in May this year to be hosted by Ngema-Dirkiesdorp Sub LFA at KwaNgema, Mkhondo.