|Francois Adams © Backpagepix
Vasco da Gama defender Francois Adams says the National First Division title will be won by a team that shows more hunger in the last few games.
The Cape side take on the University of Pretoria in a crunch National First Division match on Saturday afternoon at Parow Park (3pm).
Vasco are currently down in sixth spot on the standings. On 38 points, they trail top placed Tuks by eight. A win for Vasco would thus reduce the defecit to five, a loss would see it increase to 11, making the game an effective six-pointer.
In order to make the play-off places, (position two and three on the log), Vasco must make up a four point gap on third placed Blackburn Rovers. Clearly, with five games to go, all clubs in the top six have everything to play for.
“This is bigger than a cup final,” Adams told PSL.co.za, “we can’t afford to lose this game, then we are out of the running to make the play-offs. This is our biggest game of the season.”
Vasco’s form has been stuttering of late: in their last eight games they have won just twice and lost four, which ranks them in 12th spot in terms of those eight games.
Adams was at a loss to explain the reason.
“I can’t really say, it’s difficult for me to give an explanation. I don’t think its pressure. The problem is that what we have being doing at training we have not been taking into games.
“I think sometimes the inexperience of the under-23 players shows. Its not that I’m looking to blame anybody, we play as a team and we win and lose as a team.
“What’s important on Saturday is that we go out there and play with heart. We have the playing ability, we have the fitness, its 11 versus 11 on the park and its about going out there and giving it everything – the team that wants it most will win,” he said of the encounter against the Tshwane high-flyers.
After 30-years as an amateur outfit, the Parow-based team gained promotion to the Absa Premiership in the 2010/ 2011 season, but were relegated at the end of the season. There were some memorable moments however, such as their 3-2 away win over Kaizer Chiefs, and Adams, Vasco’s sturdy centre back, is desperate to experience the glamour of the top flight again.
“I personally would love to play in the PSL again, hopefully with Vasco. I had a taste of it, and it was a tough blow to go down, now I want to get back there again.”
Key men on Saturday
Keenin Lesch: Vasco's top scorer with eight goals and an inspirational leader from midfield. Geoffrey Serunkuma also has eight goals.
Brent Adonis, Marcelino Johnson and Gregory Roelf have also been regular scorers this season - Vasco are far and away the highest scorers this season with 45 - Tuks have scored 10 less.
Thokozani Sekotlong: Tuks' top goal-scorer with six goals.
Easu Mtsweni: Vastly experienced midfielder-cum-striker who scored a brace in last weekend's win over Sivutsa - he has five goals this campaign.
Tebogo Monyai: Tuks' leader from the centre back position - the former Swallows man will be key to keeping Vasco's danger-men at bay