Sibongiseni Gumbi
Football Writer
3 minute read
5 May 2019
11:33 am

Draw will be enough to see Stellies return to Premiership

Sibongiseni Gumbi

With a draw, Stellenbosch could secure their return to the Absa Premiership and coach Steve Barker would have promoted his second team to the top flight.

Steve Barker, Coach of Stellenbosch FC (Chris Ricco/BackpagePix)

But Stellenbosch will likely be looking for a win when they host Maccabi FC at Idas Valley Stadium this afteroon.

And on paper, Stellies should easily get the three points against Maccabi who secured their National First Division (NFD) status with a win over Mbombela United last weekend. There is nothing much to play for in this game for Joel Masutha’s side but he vowed to not make it easy for Stellies.

“I would love to have to experiment in that game,” said Masutha. “But that is something I cannot do. We will field our best team. We have to respect the league and other teams in this division by always doing best in every match,” he said.

Should Stellies somehow lose to Maccabi, they could find themselves finishing second with KwaZulu-Natal side Royal Eagles winning automatic promotion. Masutha admitted that he still had a soft spot for Eagles where he had a short stint a while ago, saying the investment that the club owners have made deserved some reward.

Other matches

Ubuntu CT v Royal Eagles, at Athlone Stadium, 3pm

For Eagles to be with a chance to leap above Stellenbosch, they will have to win convincingly against relegation threatened side, Ubuntu Cape Town away. To survive relegation, Ubuntu have to win this match and hope that one between Jomo Cosmos and Real Kings above them fumbles.

Vladislav Heric’s side are 15th on the standings going into their last match of the season. A defeat or draw for Ubuntu will put paid to their NFD status and they will join Witbank Spurs in the ABC Motsepe League next season.

Tshakhuma v Richards Bay, at Thohoyandou Stadium, 3pm

With Eagles already securing the first playoffs spot regardless whether they win or lose at Ubuntu, Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila are left to fight Ajax Cape Town for the other spot.

Tshakhuma are home to Richards Bay and a win will guarantee them a second bite at promotion through the playoffs set to start next week Wednesday.

Witbank Spurs v Jomo Cosmos, at Puma Rugby Stadium, 3pm

Siyavutha will look for their last win in the paid ranks before they begin life in the ABC Motsepe League next season, possibly dragging Ezenkosi down with them in the process. To avoid relegation, Ezenkosi need to win this game although a defeat for Ubuntu will also suffice for Jomo Sono’s side.

University of Pretoria v Cape Umoya, at Tuks Stadium, 3pm

This is one of the two dead rubber game in the division as both sides are safe and have nothing to fight for. But Umoya would do well to get at least a draw.

Uthongathi v TS Galaxy , at Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium, 3pm

Both have nothing to fight for but the Rockets will do well to get back to winning ways ahead of their Nedbank Cup final. Both are safe from relegation and out of contention for the playoffs.

Mbombela v Ajax CT, at Kanyamazane Stadium, 3pm

Tingwenyama have been put up for sale after failing to qualify for the playoffs and have nothing to gain from this game. Things in their camp are said to be in disarray. Ajax are desperate for the full points to have a chance at qualifying for the playoffs.

TS Sporting v Real Kings, at Kabokweni Stadium, 3pm

The Magic Boys will hope to continue their winning run as they are desperate for points to ensure their safety. Abantu Bemthetho have nothing to lose or gain.


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