NEWS

Marques' emotional explosion



Zeca Marques struggled to contain himself when the Birds squared matters 1-1 with Ajax Cape Town at the Cape Town Stadium on Wednesday night.

Moroka Swallows were a goal down with time ticking away, until captain Lefa Tsutsulupa found Siyabonga Nomvethe with a slick pass for the equaliser.

Having watched chance after chance fall away for the Birds, the coach excitedly threw his jacket in the air as half the job was done.

"It was so frustrating, we were creating so many chances," Marques told morokaswallows.co.za "We could have wrapped the game up in the first half and we made it difficult for ourselves.

"Luckily in the second half, we were a lot more aggressive going forward and I thought we were tidy at the back as well, barring just one or two silly mistakes. It's encouraging though, because the mistakes are getting less and less.

"When we scored the equaliser, which was a question of time really, I had a huge sigh of relief and an obvious emotional explosion."

He praised centre-back Rudi Isaacs for bottling up Mabhuti Khenyeza, as well as Greg Etafia for his heroics between the sticks.

"It's always good to see players performing at their best and that's what you expect. I know what the guys are capable of doing and sometimes it's frustrating when you don't see them doing that," he continued.

"Rudi was solid and put Khenyeza in his back pocket. He [Khenyeza] was one of the dangers that we spoke about before the match. We spoke about Khenyeza's qualities in one-on-ones as concerns. It just didn't happen and that's all due to Rudi's great performance."

Khenyeza did get one break but Etafia kept his cool, by staying on his feet and diving well to clutch the eventual toe-punch.

"That is a large part of the success of a good team - you need a goalkeeper behind you that can give you the confidence that at any moment he could give you something extra behind the defence," the Birds coach beamed.

"Greg proved that with three or four great moments that could have turned the game horribly against us. Greg was on song, you could see the focus in his eyes and that's what you expect from Greg, he is quality goalkeeper. His agility and shot-stopping ability are his strengths and he proved it against Ajax."




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