Acornbush shift focus on promotion to NFD

Acornbush United pacey winger, Rhulani Sidumo celebrate with Mlungisi "Mlungu" Nkosi after scoring against Kaizer Chiefs. Photos courtesy of Omtle.

Coach of Acronbush FC, the Mpumalanga ABC Motsepe League champions, MacDonald “Bambino” Makhubedu, believes that if they can stay grounded and work hard, they can use their 1-2 defeat to Kaizer Chiefs as the ABC Motsepe League National play-off springboard.
The Mpumalanga side fought gallantly before going down to the Soweto giants at a fully packed KaBokweni Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
This was despite Acornbush playing over an hour a man down after Bongani Nyathi was controversially sent off by referee, Chris Harrison, for a late challenge on Willard Katsande in the 28th minute of the first half.

Acornbush United bulky striker Madoda “Mbesuma” Motha on the ball while Edmore Chimbadare charge on. Photos courtesy of Omtle.

Despite being one man down, Acornbush surprised the glamorous Amakhosi when Rhulani Sidumo headed in a cross from Mduduzi Nkosi in the 42nd minute to give his side a lead.
Nkosi should have given Acornbush a lead earlier on had he not fluffed a golden opportunity when missing looked tougher than scoring.
Nkosi beat an offside-trap, skinned an onrushing Itumeleng Khune, but lacked the finishing touch as he scuffed his shot wide with the goal at his mercy in the 19th minute.
However, newly signed Chiefs Venezuelan-born striker, Gustavo Paez came off the bench to score two quick goals in a space of six minutes to end the Mpumalanga-based side’s hopes of slaying another PSL giant.

Acornbush United midfielder-cum-striker, Mlungisi “Mlungu” Nkosi surrounded by the Kaizer Chiefs trio of Willard Katsande, Lorendzo Gordinho and Simphiwe Tshabalala. Photos courtesy of Omtle.

Makhubedu’s side will, however, be heading to the ABC Motsepe National play-off highly motivated after they were not outplayed by their more glamorous opponents. They will be looking to translate their good run both in the Mpumalanga ABC Motsepe and Nedbank Cup to the national play-offs.
“The game (against Chiefs) boosted the players’ confidence going to the play-offs. Playing against one of the among biggest teams not only in the country, but in the continent and even globally, only to be losing with such a narrow margin was really a morale booster, considering that we played the better half of the match with one man down,” said Makhubedu.

Acornbush United coach, MacDonald Makhubedu. Photos courtesy of Omtle.

The ABC Motsepe National play-offs will be held in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape from June 4 to 11.
Nine champions from their respective ABC Motsepe provincial leagues will battle it out where the winners of each group, made up of four and five clubs respectively, qualify automatically for the National First Division.

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