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June 15, 2024
Vilakazi: Time For Pretty Football Is Over

Richards Bay coach Vusi Vilakazi declared that aesthetics are out the window in the PSL promotion and relegation playoffs, prioritizing results above all else.

Vilakazi’s team kicked off the playoffs on a winning note, edging University of Pretoria 1-0 at King Zwelithini Stadium on Wednesday. This victory put them at the top of the mini-league, albeit tied on three points with AmaTuks, who hold a game in hand after defeating Baroka FC. Baroka currently sits at the bottom of the mini-league with no points and will host Bay next Saturday.

“It wasn’t pretty football, and I don’t think there’s time for that now,” Vilakazi admitted after the match. “Our main focus was to prevent AmaTuks from reaching six points (by beating us), which would have made things much harder. Now we’re both on three points, so let’s see what the next game brings.”

Tuks employed a strategy of launching balls into Bay’s box, aiming to exploit Mamelodi Sundowns loan striker Thabang Sibanyoni’s aerial threat. Bay managed to withstand this pressure, with Salim Magoola making a crucial save to deny Sibanyoni a clear-cut chance.

“It’s their game,” acknowledged Vilakazi. 

“We knew. When we watched the video session, we were looking at their strong points. One of their players who is key to their set up is the goalkeeper (Edward Moava) because he has the technique of finding the two strikers. 

“But obviously, we didn’t want to give them the space because when one is dropping, he is dropping to flick for another one. 

“We wanted our central pairing – our defenders to be positionally disciplined and not give them the space they wanted.  

“So, we made things very difficult for them. It was either they do that or nothing at all.”  

AmaTuks will now turn their attention by watching how things unfold in Saturday’s match between Baroka and Bay, hoping that Baroka, now under the leadership of new coach Morgan Mammila, can halt Vusi Vilakazi’s side.

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Robin-Duke Madlala

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