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By Sibongiseni Gumbi

Football Writer

Pressure now on Maritzburg as Spurs push Stars out the way in playoffs

This result puts the pressure squarely at Maritzburg's door - they have to win both their remaining games with a margin bigger than 1-0.

Cape Town Spurs are now 90 minutes away from making a historic return to the DStv Premiership via  the promotion playoffs. 

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The Western Cape side, previously known as Ajax Cape Town, now need a draw in their last game of the playoffs. They meet Maritzburg United at Harry Gwala Stadium next week. 

Spurs cemented their place at the top of the three team mini-league with a hard-fought 1-0 win against Casric Stars at a rainy Athlone Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.

They have collected nine points and are six clear of second placed Maritzburg. Casric Stars will have to try for promotion again next season. 

Casric, however, looked better organised and more determined in their third game of the playoffs. It was perhaps because they knew that they had nothing to lose. 

The Mpumalanga side managed to hold Spurs to a goalless draw going into the halftime break. And to be fair, they are the ones who could have scored first.

And with just over 20 minutes to the end, things took a big turn in the visitors’ favour when a Spurs player was red carded.

Spurs have one foot in Premiership

Ashley Cupido had a confrontation with Ramala of Stars and the referee sent him for an early shower. He will now miss the final game against Maritzburg. 

But being a man down seemed to jolt the Urban Warriors into action. They found the goal just a few minutes after the sending off. 

Morne Nel scored with a well taken and left footed effort from just outside the box. The Believers tried to find a way back but their efforts were fruitless. 

The home side’s keeper, Lincoln Vyver however had to pull a brilliant last minute save to deny Stars an equaliser. The save was the last action of the game. 

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This result puts the pressure squarely at Maritzburg’s door. The KwaZulu-Natal side will now have to win both their remaining games with a margin bigger than 1-0 to retain their Premiership status.

They will be away to Stars on Saturday and finish the playoffs against Spurs next week. Spurs will be looking for just a draw to move to the top flight.

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