Limpopo derby set to dazzle fans
If football was food, this afternoon’s Limpopo derby would be an extra spicy dish served on a hot Thohoyandou afternoon with National First Division (NFD) campaigners Black Leopards and Magesi FC desperate for full points – albeit for contrasting reasons.
Black Leopards players celebrate a goal. (Photo by Grant Pitcher/Gallo Images)
Lidoda Duvha are close to finishing in the promotion playoffs position and can ill afford to drop any points at this stage of the season with just three games to go until the end.
Jean-Pierre Luscuito’s team are currently in second place on 44 points, 12 behind division winners, Thanda Royal Zulu and one ahead Stellenbosch behind them. Two wins should be enough for Lidoda Duvha to guarantee themselves a place in the playoffs.
But they will have to fight hard to wrestle the points away from a desperate Magesi side whose NFD status is hanging by a thread. Shepard Murape’s team are third from bottom but equal on points with FC Cape Town who are in 15th-place.
Magesi have won three and lost two in their last five matches and have found their rhythm since Murape took over the coaching reigns while veteran administrator, Thifhiwa “Chief” Thidiela as manager earlier this year.
Another top team who will have to sweat it against relegation candidates are AmaZulu who host Santos on Sunday. A win for Usuthu will keep alive their promotion hopes while condemning the People’s Team to the ABC Motsepe League.
Cape Town All Stars were meanwhile handed three points on a platter and moved off the relegation zone after Jomo Cosmos were found guilty of failing to honour their fixture against the Western Cape side on March 31.
According to a statement issued by the Premier Soccer League yesterday, Igugu leKapa were awarded a walk-over.
“The Disciplinary Committee found Jomo Cosmos FC guilty of failing to fulfil their NFD fixture against Cape Town All Stars FC scheduled for 31 March 2017. The match was accordingly awarded to Cape Town All Stars with a 3-0 goal difference,” read the statement in part.
Ezenkosi were also fined R50 000 which was suspended for a year but will have to fork out for the costs of DC sitting, while the complaint by Mthatha Bucks was dismissed and Jomo Sono’s team not found guilty.
Today: Black Leopards v Magesi FC; Witbank Spurs v Mbombela United; FC Cape Town v Mthatha Bucks; Stellenbosch FC v Real Kings
Sunday: University of Pretoria v Milano United; Jomo Cosmos v Royal Eagles; AmaZulu v Santos; Cape Town All Stars v Thanda Royal Zulu