Eagles, Roses lock horns

2015-05-27 06:00
CRUNCH TIME: Super Eagles players rally to go for broke against arch-rivals and title contenders Roses United when the two square off in a decisive league encounter in Bethlehem on Saturday. 
Photo: Teboho Setena

CRUNCH TIME: Super Eagles players rally to go for broke against arch-rivals and title contenders Roses United when the two square off in a decisive league encounter in Bethlehem on Saturday. Photo: Teboho Setena

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THE Super Eagles and Roses United’s decisive league fixture on Saturday (30/05) will be officiated by referees doing duty in the Premier Soccer League (PSL).

The two title-chasing clubs will face off in the Bohlokong Stadium in Bethlehem with a PSL crew of referees officiating.

Thus far three matches featuring the two teams vying for the Free State stream of the South African Football Association’s ABC Motsepe League were manned by top officials of the elite division of South African football.

The decision sees match officials in the province, who have been officiating the better part of the season in the second division, take a back seat – watching their counterparts of the elite division blowing the whistle.

Roses’ fixtures against Bubchu United and Swagger were handled by PSL match officials. They include referees Victor Hlongwane and Bafana Mosia and assistant referees Mervin van Wyk and Khoabane Mokoena.

Roses shared the spoils, goalless with Bubchu in a local derby which Hlongwane officiated.

Then last Saturday (23/05) Roses amended, winning 3-1 against Swagger in a fixture handled by Mosia.

The match of the high-flying Eagles against Clarens Galaxy last Saturday (23/05) was handled by Welkom-based official Moses Phale who took the role of referee with Jantjie Dlamini and Marumo Molelekwa as assistant referees.

The two arch-rivals and title-clashing sides, the high-flying Eagles and Roses, will on Saturday (30/05) propel their efforts to produce the 2014-’15 season winner of the Free State stream of Safa’s ABC Motsepe League.

Pressure is on both teams, with the latter (Roses) looking to reclaim the first place on the table after descending to the second spot following their goalless draw with Bubchu.

They are desperate for a win to qualify for the national promotional play-offs.

While Roses slipped to second place, rival championship contenders Eagles soared high to the helm of the league table following their 2-1 victories over Bloemfontein Young Tigers and Welkom-based Dinonyana FC. The Eagles are going into this all-important match, needing just a draw to be crowned the champion.

This will see them qualify for the forthcoming national promotional play-offs scheduled to be staged in Kimberley in the Northern Cape in June.

Roses are compelled to get maximum three points against the log-leaders to spoil their journey.

Three points separate the two title-cha-sing clubs.

The hosts, the Eagles, boast of 71 points at the helm of the log table while Roses are in second place with 68 points.

Saturday’s fixture is the return leg in which the Eagles hope for sweet revenge after their narrow 2-1 defeat to Roses in the first leg of the league fixtures played in Bloemfontein in March this year.

The Bethlehem-based outfit will depend largely on their agility and blend of youthful players to ensure they continue to soar high while Roses have depth of experienced players who plied their trade in the Premier Soccer League, but are now winding down their careers at the Mangaung-based outfit.

The former PSL stars include goalkeeper Posnett Omony and defender James Madidilane (ex-Bloemfontein Celtic), striker Tebello Mofokeng (Free State Stars) and Lethola Mofokeng (Jomo Cosmos)

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