Sport / Phakaaathi / Local Soccer

Sibongiseni Gumbi
Football Writer
2 minute read
27 Mar 2019
12:09 pm

NFD wrap: Stellenbosch look shaky in NFD

Sibongiseni Gumbi

At some stage, Stellenbosch looked to be cruising as they enjoyed an 11-point lead but have since dipped in form.

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

Real Kings eased their relegation worries as they moved up one place after beating National First Division leaders Stellenbosch FC 1-0 at Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium in Durban this weekend.

The Magic Boys moved to 15th place, pushing Shakes Mashaba’s Witbank Spurs to the bottom and are now two points behind Ubuntu Cape Town above them in 14th.

Former Orlando Pirates player Lindokuhle Mtshali scored the important goal for the Magic Boys with a header just 12 minutes into the game. Stellies tried to find their way back into the game but it wasn’t their day. The match was rescheduled after it was initially rained off over two weeks ago.

With six games to go, Simo Dladla’s side will still have all to do if they are to avoid the dreaded chop. The battle for survival is set to get tougher as the season draws closer to an end. At least six of the 16 teams in the NFD are not yet safe from relegation.

Stellenbosch’s defeat, meanwhile, also blew the title race wide open as they are now just three points above second-placed Royal Eagles who have been in good form lately. At some stage, Stellenbosch looked to be cruising as they enjoyed an 11-point lead but have since dipped in form.

Eagles have found their rhythm, peaking just at the right time and now look to put up a serious fight for the automatic promotion place. Ajax Cape Town and Mbombela United are also not far behind and will see Stellies’ defeat as a window of opportunity for them to fight for first place.

Ajax have, meanwhile, extended defender Yagan Sasman’s contract for a further four years. The 22-year-old, who joined Ajax as a 10-year-old, said staying on at the club was the easiest decision he has ever had to make.

“As soon as the club came to me, it was a no-brainer – I want to stay here, so as soon as they put an offer on the table it was signed. I want to be part of this team that will take Ajax back to the Premiership.

“It was a pretty easy decision for me and I’m sure for the club as well. We both agreed to continue my relationship with the team, that’s why it’s been done before the season ends,” he said.


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