Who will win automatic promotion to the promised land and who gets the chop to the ABC Motsepe?
Twenty-eight rounds of football have been played in the National First Division, It has been a tough and very tight season that we have had and the football displayed by the NFD sides has been on points as always but what has caught my eye is the battle for automatic promotion and a playoff spot, also not forgetting the battle for survival.
Can Stellenbosch go all the way?
With three games left and all three are at home including that away game to Cape Umoya in Athlone (I regard that one as a home game ??) It has been a tough five weeks for the Steve Barker led side out of five games they have only managed one win against Tuks, a draw at Cosmos and three losses. I asked myself a question, are they choking on the last few hurdles? In a way I think they have done well for themselves and if they can lose promotion now after leading for almost the whole season, that would be a huge knock for the players, technical team and not forgetting the loyal supporters that they have there in Idas Valley for their home games Only they can lose this title and get a promotion to the Absa Premiership next season.
Can Eagles or Ajax sneak in and pip Stellies to the title?
It surely looks possible but it’s a huge task and will take a lot from the other two teams to achieve that feat. Both teams were in action over the weekend and Eagles were victorious and that ensured that they are on the summit of the league with only two games to go. with Stellenbosch having a game in hand.
I think Ajax had it in the bag but they just threw it away, there are three games that I will highlight to back my statement, the first one is the clash at Idas Valley were they lost 2-1 to Stellenbosch, the four all draw at home to TTM and the 2-2 draw to Real Kings. They dropped seven points which by now would have made a huge difference in their quest for an immediate return to the top tier of South African football, but all is not lost I still feel that they stand a great chance in the promotion playoffs than any side in the top five of the league.
Royal Eagles are currently the team that is steading the NFD ship and have done well for themselves and for a side that has a huge financial backing from the owner this will seem to be the right time to hang in the till the last day of the league. If Steve Baker and his troops fail to get a result against TS Galaxy today then I foresee no side that will stop Sazi Ngubane’s side.
What I find interesting with the top three is that Royal Eagles have collected maximum points on both occasions against the Urban Warriors and on the other side Stellenbosch has had the best of Eagles home and away
Who gets the chop?
Witbank Spurs has already bit the dust and will be campaigning in the second tier come the 2019/20 season, their fate was concluded when they were defeated by fellow relegation-threatened Ubuntu Cape Town. The side that is coached by former Bafana midfielder Kagiso Dikgacoi has only managed to win five games, drew six and have lost seventeen matches and have conceded a forty-eight goal. Can they reach the fifty mark? The last time a team got relegated with a lot of goals conceded was in the 2014/15 season as Maluti FET College had 68 scored against them.
Who will join Witbank Spurs in the ABC Motsepe?
There are three candidates I will look at namely Real Kings, Jomo Cosmos and Ubuntu Cape Town. Real Kings have done tremendously well in the past five weeks notching eleven points out of a possible fifteen and they are looking like a side that is determined to fight until the last day of the season and they have done a favour to some sides that are fighting for promotion by beating some like Stellenbosch and Mbombela United recently. Ubuntu Cape Town, since their emergence the side has been in a relegation fight from day one, didn’t they learn a lesson from their maiden season? I think they did but at a later stage by getting an experienced coach to steady the ship and Heric has done that. lastly its Jomo Cosmos, with the off-field issues that have embattled Ezenkosi this season, it seems inevitable that they will be able to overcome this dark cloud but with my knowledge of the game and having seen what the Balck Prince has done before it will be suicidal in writing him and his troops off.