Birds and Vasco desparate to avoid that dreaded drop

2011-05-10 00:00

WHILE Jomo Cosmos and Bay United, the respective National First Division (NFD) Inland Stream and Coastal Stream winners, have long confirmed their place in the PSL promotional play-off matches, it is the 15th spot that still remains a hot issue for two Absa Premiership sides.

With one round to go, both Moroka Swallows and Vasco Da Gama will be trying to round off the season above the 15th log position, something that will steer them away from the dreaded promotional play-offs with teams from NFD.

As things stand Swallows are in 14th place with 29 points. Vasco are in 15th with 27 points.

It goes without saying that the Birds’ last match of the season against already relegated Mpumalanga Black Aces is a must-win, and with most goals for that matter.

The same applies to Vasco, who meet Cape Town neighbours Santos at Athlone Stadium in their last game of the campaign.

Meanwhile, during yesterday’s NFD promotional play-offs draw conducted at PSL’s Parktown offices in Gauteng, Bay were drawn at home (Port Elizabeth) against Cosmos in a match scheduled for Gelvandale Stadium on Saturday.

Bay coach David Bright welcomed the draw against Jomo Sono’s outfit.

“This is what we wanted. We now have time to prepare well instead of travelling to Jo’burg this weekend. So I think we have the advantage.”

Cosmos expressed delight with the draw and will host Bay on May 22 at Makhulong Stadium in Tembisa.

“I think we can go there and get a positive result and then win the return leg,” said Cosmos assistant coach Gerald Mtshali.

“This is what we wanted and we are not fazed …”

In the other promotional matches, University of Pretoria or Black Leopards will take on the team finishing 15th in the Absa Premiership.

Thanda Royal Zulu, who came second in the NFD Coastal Stream, will take on either Cosmos or Bay in their first-leg promotional play-off.

Durban-based Nathi Lions survived NFD relegation when they scored a fine 3-1 win over Blackburn Rovers in East London at the weekend.

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