NFD clubs brace for play-offs

2014-04-20 15:00

Chippa United’s fixture against Witbank Spurs this afternoon will be an academic outing after closest contenders for the ­National First Division championship, Baroka FC and Jomo Cosmos, failed to net maximum points.

Baroka held Santos to a 1-1 draw on Friday, and Cosmos lost 2-1 to Thanda Royal Zulu yesterday.

Black Leopards, who were not in action this weekend, can only reach 53 points if they win their three remaining matches. United lead the pack with 54 points.

Black Leopards, Milano United, Jomo Cosmos and Baroka FC are left with three fixtures each, and each team will contest the two National First Division play-off spots.

The division runners-up and a third-placed team will go into a play-off with the side that finishes 15th in the Absa Premiership.

This will be contested in a round robin format and the team with the most points will join, in all likelihood, Chippa United in top-flight football.

Today, Chippa travel to Puma Rugby ­Stadium to face Witbank Spurs in search of the single point that will confirm them as division champions.

A draw will shoot the Chilli Boys to 55 points – and an automatic place in the ­Premiership next season.

Leopards are still in with a chance for a play-off spot despite losing ground on the championship race following a 1-0 loss to Chippa a fortnight ago.

Lidoda Duvha can only reach 54 ­points if they win their remaining three fixtures, which include fellow play-off contenders Milano and Cosmos (see box).

Milano will close their campaign with a Cape derby against Chippa on May 11.

If they gain promotion, United will join Ajax Cape Town as Western Cape’s two representatives in the elite league following the relegation of Santos last season and Vasco da Gama in 2011.

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