Sibongiseni Gumbi
Football Writer
2 minute read
4 May 2018
3:14 pm

Dramatic finish expected for NFD

Sibongiseni Gumbi

Sunday is D-Day as the National First Division draws to a dramatic finish with seven teams in desperate situations which need them to collect full points on their last games. Drama is expected in seven of the eight games with only the Stellenbosch v Highlands Park match being a dead rubber.

Mothobi Mvala of Highlands Park celebrates goal with teammates during the National First Division match between Jomo Cosmos and Highlands Park at Vosloorus Stadium. (Pic Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix)

The results of the other seven games will have an influence on who joins Jomo Cosmos in the play offs or follows Mthatha Bucks to the ABC Motsepe League.

Four teams – Uthongathi FC; Richards Bay; Super Eagles and Ubuntu Cape Town – will be fighting to stay in the NFD.

Fighting for a place in the play offs which comes with a chance to gain promotion to the top flight are Black Leopards, Real Kings and Witbank Spurs.

Mbombela United v Richards Bay, at Kanyamazane Stadium, 3pm

Richards Bay will have to give their best performance as they visit Mbombela United who despite not having anything to gain from this match will put up a fight under their new coach.

The Rich Boys’ Siphelele Mkhulise said they have no choice but to go to Kanyamazane Stadium and clinch a rare win. “We have to win. There is no two ways about it. We cannot rely on the results of other teams. We must do our own thing and save ourselves from this situation,” said the former Black Leopards midfielder.

Super Eagles v Mthatha Bucks, at Goble Park Stadium, 3pm

Based on their opponent’s form, Super Eagles would easily grab the three points and move to safety as they host Bucks who are already relegated. But their own record is not promising and with Bucks players now playing to impress other teams it will be a tough match.

Ubuntu v Tshakhumba, at Parow Park Stadium, 3pm

Ubuntu just cannot afford a defeat when they host the unpredictable Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila. A defeat for Ubuntu will mean all the other teams are safe and they get relegated while a win could save them depending on other teams’ results.

Black Leopards v Jomo Cosmos, at Thohoyandou Stadium, 3pm

Lidoda Duvha will have to be at their best when they host Jomo Cosmos who have already qualified for the play offs but could be looking to expel some of the tough competition. What lightens the load for Joel Masutha’s side is that a draw could be enough to book them a spot.

Real Kings v CT All Stars, at King Zwelithini Stadium, 3pm

For Kings only a win will suffice. A win will take Simo Dladla’s Magic Boys to 48 points and depending on the Leopards v Cosmos result book them a place in the play offs in only their second season in the NFD.

Royal Eagles v Witbank Spurs, at Harry Gwala Stadium, 3pm

For Siyavutha as well, only a win will suffice. A win will get them to 48 points as well and depending on other results could book them a spot in the play offs.

Stellenbosch v Highlands Park, at Athlone Stadium, 3pm

Uthongathi v University of Pretoria, at Princess Magogo Stadium, 3pm

Uthongathi need a point to be safe but must not expect an easy collection against University of Pretoria who will be looking for a good finish.