An inspired performance by utility player Zelda Fransman drove Kasselsvlei Technical High School’s under-19 girls’ team to victory in this year’s Sasfa Cape Town Schools Tournament beating Ocean View 3-0 in the final, in Khayelitsha, on Friday.
The diminutive magician, who operates mostly in the middle of the park, terrorised opposition defenders throughout the tournament, with her darting runs and defence-splitting passes. She scored important goals too.
The Bellville South-based side was also impressive as a unit as they didn’t lose any of their matches in this competition, winning three and drawing two in the process. Slotted in Group B alongside Mfuleni’s Luhlaza, Ocean View and Oaklands high schools, Kasselvlei had an ideal start to the competition beating Luhlaza 1-0 in their first match before drawing 2-all with Ocean View. They went on to play to a goalless draw against Oakland and that was enough to see them book their spot in the semis against Ravensmead, whom they beat 2-1 to set another date with Ocean View, who booked their own spot in the final after beating Sibelius 2-0 in the semis.
And, as it turned out, Kasselsvlei were a completely different side from the one that played to a draw against Ocean View earlier in the competition as their defence, in particular, gave nothing away.
Ocean View struggled to cope with their opponents’ quick inter-passing game. But, to their credit, their defence stood their ground, despite the onslaught from the highly skilful Kasselsvlei front runners.
Centre forward Thulisile Xuza was particularly problematic for Ocean View as her trickery on the ball seemed to confuse their opponents.
It was, however, Fransman who did all the “spade work” for the Bellville side as she ran the length of the field, attacking the opposition defence, creating things in the middle of the park and helping out at the back.
She was finally rewarded when she opened the scoring within the first 20 minutes of the match. It was now all Kasselsvlei but Ocean View, led by their influential captain Nina Katnis, tried to launch attacks of their own, using mainly counter attacks. That proved to be an effective form of defending as the score was a respectable 1-0 going to the half time break.
However, the Bellville side continued where they left off in the second half. This time their approach was more direct and they were now playing with more purpose. Ocean few also seemed to struggle to cope with their opponents’ superior fitness levels.
With Fransman dictating things upfront, Kasselsvlei camped in their opposition half and were eventually rewarded with two second half goals to put the match beyond Ocean View’s reach.
The 3-0 full time score was, in the end, a fair reflection of what went down on the field as the Ocean View side never really threatened their opponents.
Fransman said things were not as easy out there as the score-line may suggest. This, she said, was because Ocean View was able to put a lot of pressure on them, which meant they had to find creative ways going forward. “To counter that we had to push as many numbers forward as possible and attack them as a team. “That worked as they struggled to contain us in their half, especially in the second half,” she said.
Earlier in the day, Kasselsvlei took on Ravensmead High in their highly-charged semi-final match and Fransman came up against SA under-20 international Jamie-Lee Witbooi.
Theirs is what team manager Eghsaan Joshua described as a long-time rivalry as their club football matches between Fransman’s UWC and Witbooi’s Spurs WFC are always intense. And, Fransman admitted she expected a tough battle on the day.
“We know each other very well and I had to make sure I concentrated on the game not just on the player. And that I think we, as a team, were able to pull that off well,” she said.