PSL title race gains momentum

2009-12-17 10:55

BOTH Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs have reignited the Absa

Premiership title race with significant victories yesterday night.

But Sundowns’ straight talking Bulgarian coach Hristo Stoichkov

fired a broadside at the Premier Soccer League (PSL) for staging three matches

per week for the last six weeks in a bid to give Bafana Bafana head coach Carlos

Alberto Parreira three months to prepare his squad for June’s World Cup on home


Golden Arrows opened up the title race when they defeated log

leaders and defending champions SuperSport United 1-0 in yesterday’s clash

played at the Chatsworth Stadium.

Chiefs, Sundowns and Santos are all bracketed on 38 points with

Chiefs having played 22 matches – one more that both Downs and Santos while

SuperSport is sitting on 44 points also from 22 matches.

Downs defeated Maritzburg United 1-0 at the Super Stadium in

Atteridgeville while Chiefs scored a last gasp 2-1 win over Ajax Cape Town

across town at Loftus Versveld yesterday to keep the pressure on the defending


But the last two rounds of fixtures for this year could go a long

way in deciding the championship.

Chiefs and Downs lock horns in a battle of the challengers at

Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday at 3.30pm. And United take on

second-from-the-bottom Mpumalanga Black Aces at Loftus on the very day at


But the crunch game is the Pretoria Derby between Downs and United

at Loftus on Tuesday night at 7.30pm.

Stoichkov, the former Barcelona European Champions Cup winner and

Bulgarian superstar lashed out at the fixtures that have seen teams playing

three times a week in order to finish the season on February 28.

Stormed the straight talking Bulgarian: “The PSL is disrespecting

the clubs, the players and the supporters by making us play three games a


“I played for 20 years in European and I never in my career had to

put up with this type of nonsense. There are too many games. The players are


He also slammed the fact he is playing United on Tuesday. “We

should be playing Santos on Tuesday as that match comes first. It was rained out

two weeks ago and we should be playing it before SuperSport. That game was also

washed out but only after Santos. I simply do not understand how the PSL

arranges their fixtures.”

Though, Stoichkov was happy with his side’s 1-0 win over Maritzburg

and said that the players would have to pick themselves up to face fellow

challengers Chiefs.

He also declined to say if his new signing from Ajax winger

Franklyn Cale would be involved in the match against Amakhosi.

Said the former Bulgarian national coach: “It is tough on everyone

playing like this. This is a big game and we will be ready when we get to


“I was happy with the win against Maritzburg. We fell away in the

second half but the players are fatigued. The fact we won is good not the

result. The three points are what is important.”

Chiefs striker Nkosinathi Nhleko said the showdown against Downs

would be crucial to their title hopes.

“We had three matches remaining before the end of 2009 and the

target was nine points. But we realise that the Sundowns match will be special

and whoever wins that game will take a huge psychological advantage into the

last leg of the title race,” said Nhleko.

Santos end their 2009 programme when they host Orlando Pirates at

the Athlone Stadium tomorrow night at 8pm.

Other weekend fixtures, struggling BidVest Wits entertain Arrows at

the Milpark Stadium on Saturday at 8pm while Platinum Stars (5-2 winners over

Bloemfontein Celtic yesterday) play Free State Stars at the Moruleng Stadium in

the North West at 8.15pm, also on Saturday.

On Sunday, Maritzburg play Moroka Swallows at the Woodburn Stadium.

The Butcher Bird were hammered 4-0 at home in Dobsonville by AmaZulu


Usuthu will hope to keep the scintillating form when they host

bottom-seated Jomo Cosmos at the Moses Mabhida Stadium. In Sunday’s other

fixture Celtic will be out to make amends when they host Ajax at the Seisa

Ramabodu Stadium.

All Sunday matches kick-off at 3.30pm.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.