Our gamble paid off: Madidilane

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Mikia Kalati

BANTU coach, James Madidilane, says unity of purpose was key to their success in the Independence Cup which was played over the weekend.

A Matšo Matebele came from a goal down in the final against LCS to take the match to penalties which they won 3-1 to claim the M200 000 winners’ purse.

The Top 4 success comes less than five months after the Free State (South Africa) born coach won the league title with Bantu in his debut season.

“I would say the togetherness in this team is the reason we won the Independence Cup,” Madidilane said, adding, “The understanding between the technical team and players is out of this world”.

LCS looked to be on course to end Bantu and Lioli’s stranglehold on the Independence Cup trophy over the last six years until Tsietsi Khooa’s equaliser off a corner kick turned the match on its head.

“We took a gamble on the day and it worked. My message to the players was that we attack and attack with everything we have.

“We took a risk pushing even our defenders forward in search of an equaliser.

“In football you also need luck because sometimes you gamble only for it to work against you.

“I knew that we were in danger of conceding more goals and if it happened that way then we would have lost the battle.

“But God was with us.”

Madidilane, who took over the reins in August 2016, spoke of his joy in bringing success to the club.

“I am happy to keep the Bantu community happy and proud of their team.

“But there is still a long way to go. We are yet to concede a goal in the league but we conceded two in the cup.

“That is a sign that there is a lot of work that lies ahead before we compete in the CAF Champions League.”

He said the Independence Cup was now a closed chapter and their focus was now on the league where they hoped to defend their title.

“We started very well but we are well aware that it is going to be tougher as the journey progresses and we have to be prepared for it.”

Bantu players also dominated the individual awards with Lindokuhle Phungulwa winning the Player of the Tournament and walking away M8 000 richer.

Thabo Selisa clinched the Goalkeeper of the Tournament after scoring and saving three penalties in the shootout.

The Top Goal scorer award was shared among several players who all scored a goal during the two day showpiece.

Individual awards:

Player of the Tournament

Lindokuhle Phungulwa (M8 000)

Goalkeeper of the Tournament

Thabo Selisa (M6000)

Referee of the Tournament

Lebalang Mokete (M4000)

Assistant Referee of the Tournament

Lesupi Puputloa (M2 000)

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