- Monday, 26 March 2012
- Written by Modou Lamin Beyai
When things go wrong at a football club, it’s invariably the coach in the firing line often, though, a coach’s best intentions and well-thought out plans are destroyed by the actions of ill-disciplined players.
A coach can only do so much. After all, it’s the players on the field who have to go out and do the job. On Sunday, Santos coach Duncan Crowie was so very nearly undone by a lack of foresight and professionalism, as well as some rash tackling.
Pa Dembo Touray’s Santos, however, managed to emerge victorious, defeating plucky Second Division side Roses United 1-0 in Botshabelo stadium, but things could have been so different.
They are now through to the quarter-finals of the Nedbank Cup. After 33 minutes, the Cape club were reduced to 10-men when left-wing Siyabulela Songwiqi was red-carded in bizarre circumstances, and then, with 13 minutes left to play, Crowie’s men had to finish the game with nine men after Graham King was sent off after two reckless challenges.
Fortunately, for Santos, before things fell apart, they had taken the lead in the eighth minute when Nigerian central defender Pere Ariweriyai headed in a cross from Vuyusile Wana. Wana is a former Roses player, and he would have been chuffed with his assist.
Songwiqi was first yellow carded for time-wasting while preparing to take a throw-in. Soon after, he kicked the ball away after referee Patrick Tinyani had blown for an infringement. Usually, this form of conduct would be an automatic yellow, but the ref was lenient and gave the Santos man a warning.
With Songwiqi now in trouble with the officials, Crowie wasn’t prepared to take the risk and he duly decided to substitute the player. While the subsitution was being effected, Songwiqi again nonchalantly took his time strolling off the field, and Tinyani was quick to produce the yellow card – and the subsequent red – for time-wasting.
With Songwiqi still on the field when sent off, Crowie couldn’t finish the substitution and Santos were down to 10-men. From here on in, Santos were on the back foot. Roses took control of the game and dominated all facets of play.
They couldn’t, however, break down the resolute and well-organised Santos defence. Here, Ariweriyai was at his best, and he was also duly named as the Man of the Match and when Roses did manage to fashion an opening and get a shot on goal, the giant goalkeeper between the sticks for Santos, Pa Dembo Touray, was at hand to stop anything thrown at him.
One save, in particular, in the 90th minute, saw the Gambian keeper launch his large frame horizontal to tip a shot over the bar.