Thanda look to go clear
Thanda Royal Zulu will look to take a big step toward securing promotion to the PSL when they host Chippa United in the penultimate promotion/relegation playoff match at Richards Bay Sports Stadium on Wednesday afternoon, kick-off at 14h00.
Thanda and Santos are tied at the top of the three-way log on four points apiece, while Chippa are just two points adrift. Any of the trio could yet win the round-robin tournament, though, ironically, bottom-of-the-log Chippa are the only side with their fate in their own hands – if they secure two wins from the remaining matches then they will earn promotion.
Yet as it stands, the momentum is very much with Thanda. They defeated Santos 2-1 at Athlone Stadium on Saturday and will look to secure three points in what is their last match of the mini tournament.
Coach Neil Tovey praised his team for their turnaround against the People’s Team, as they recovered from going a goal down to win the match. Anything less, and they would have been out of the running.
Victory on Wednesday would see them move to seven points and eliminate Chippa United. They would then hope that Santos do not defeat Chippa in their Cape Town derby at Philippi Stadium on Saturday, which will bring to an end the relegation/promotion playoffs.
Neil Tovey’s side will feel confident of making the most of home advantage against Chippa, having drawn 1-1 with them in the Mother City earlier this month. That match showed that there was little to choose between the teams, and it is sure to be a closely-fought encounter this midweek.
Thanda were last in the PSL in the 2008/09 season. They finished second from bottom on the log and entered the old format of the promotion/relegation playoffs where they defeated Carara Kicks in the semifinals before succumbing to Mpumalanga Black Aces in the final.