Sibongiseni Gumbi
Football Writer
2 minute read
22 Mar 2016
5:20 pm

Highlands Park keep pressure on Baroka

Sibongiseni Gumbi

Highlands Park may just upset high-flying Baroka FC's plans of automatic promotion as the Johannesburg side continued their impressive run in the National First Division with a 2-1 win at Royal Eagles on Sunday.

Allan Freese, coach of Highlands Park (Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix)

Getting three points from another team that is chasing promotion should be a huge boost for Allan Freese’s team, who jumped to second spot, although they still trail Baroka by four points.

The loss put a serious damper on Eagles’ promotion hopes. Although the Pietermaritzburg team remain fifth and in the hunt for at least a promotion play-offs position, the form of the teams above them suggests it will be almost impossible for them to achieve it after Sunday’s loss.

Baroka have asked that Orlando Pirates’ on-loan midfielder Jacky Motshegwa stay with them next season. The left-footed midfielder’s experience is proving invaluable for the National First Division team as they push for automatic promotion to the top flight.

Motshegwa has scored crucial goals for Bakgaga in the last few games as the team’s goal machine Thabiso Kutumela seems to have run out of steam.

The former Buccaneer was in the thick of things again last weekend and scored one of the goals as Baroka beat Santos 3-1 on Saturday.

Witbank Spurs slipped back to third after a 2-2 draw against ailing AmaZulu FC on Saturday. The draw was almost similarly detrimental to both teams’ campaigns. For Usuthu, although the point earned away against strong opposition could be a good tonic that helps the team get their confidence back, it was not enough to put the team back into contention for a promotion place.

AmaZulu remain in seventh position, but are a massive 15 points behind leaders Baroka and should perhaps forget about promotion this season.

Phakaaathi has also reported previously that the AmaZulu management are already looking at other ways to get the team back into the Premiership and are alleged to be already in talks with Chippa United, negotiating to buy their status.

Moroka Swallows earned a point when they held Cape Town All Stars to 1-1 draw at home on Sunday afternoon, but Birds remain rooted at the bottom.

NFD teams will have a short break as the next games are only set for April 9.