South Africa’s Premiership goes to the wire


Kaizer Chiefs head coach, Ernst Middendorp. Photo by Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – THE South African Premier Soccer League (PSL) is set to be decided on the last day on Saturday with four sides still in contention at the time of publication.

Table-toppers Kaizer Chiefs are neck-in-neck with defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns on 53 points ahead of the penultimate games on Wednesday evening.

They face a late rally from third-placed Bidvest Wits on 49 points.

SuperSport United (47), in fourth, have a mathematical chance of winning the title if they win their remaining games and the teams above lose them both.

However, if the results go their way they would still need plenty of goals with the title decided on goal difference.

Customarily, all the 16 league teams will be in action simultaneously on Wednesday and Saturday.

A photo finish is anticipated at the top, middle and bottom of the log with the champion, top eight finishers and the relegated sides yet to be decided.

On Wednesday, off-form Chiefs will battle it out with Chippa United at Orlando Stadium. Chippa are not entirely safe from relegation.

Sundowns play bottom-placed Polokwane City at Loftus Versfeld Stadium while Bidvest Wits will visit relegation-haunted Black Leopards at FNB Stadium.

Chiefs’ woes have mounted with the injury of first-choice Nigerian goalkeeper, Daniel Akpeyi, out for the rest of the season after suffering a concussion in their 0-1 loss to Wits over the weekend.

This leaves under-fire coach Ernst Middendorp with Bruce Bvuma and out-of-favour Itumeleng Khune as options.

Another intense fight is for the Golden Boot, to be awarded to the top goal scorer.

Malawian Gabadinho Mhango of Orlando Pirates (14) leads the race alongside Namibian Peter Shalulile of Highlands Park.

Zimbabwean international Knox Mutizwa (Golden Arrows), Serbian Samir Nurkovic (Chiefs) Bradley Grobler (SuperSport) and Bongi Ntuli of AmaZulu are tied on 13 goals whilst Kermit Erasmus of Cape Town City is on 12.

This is the last season to be played under the Absa Premiership tab after the bank discontinued its sponsorship earlier this season.

Maritzburg United vs Orlando Pirates, Lucas Moripe Stadium
Stellenbosch vs AmaZulu FC, ABSA Tuks Stadium
Black Leopards vs Bidvest Wits, FNB Stadium
Kaizer Chiefs vs Chippa United, Orlando Stadium
SuperSport United vs Baroka FC, Bidvest Stadium
Golden Arrows vs Bloemfontein Celtic, Emirates Airline Park
Highlands Park vs Cape Town City FC, Dobsonville Stadium
Polokwane City Vs Mamelodi Sundowns, Loftus Versfeld Stadium

All matches kick off at 18h00.

– CAJ News

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