Clubs compete for prize

2017-11-01 06:01

Four football clubs in the Free State’s SAB League stream stand a chance of winning R21 000 in prize money for reaching this year’s Nedbank Cup last-32 group stage.

The teams are Sporting FC (Lejweleputswa), Buffalo FC (Fezile Dabi), Bethulie FC (Xhariep) and Lazio FC (Mangaung).

On Sunday (05/11), the four amateur clubs will conti­nue their journey when they meet in the play-offs in Kroonstad. The team that will win at the play-offs is set to get R15 000 as overall winner of the SAB League in the province and R6 000 as winner of the region.

The winner of the four clubs in the SAB League rank will face off against the second-tier division winner, Bloemfontein Young Tigers, which has already qualified for the provincial play-offs in the lucrative Nedbank Cup competition. Tigers is the winner of the provincial ABC Motsepe League after beating Sibanye Golden Stars by 1 – 0 in the play-offs on 18 October at Glen College near Bloemfontein. The venue and date of the match to decide the Free State winner between the SAB League and ABC Motsepe League is yet to be announced.

The winner automatically qualifies for a slot in the last-32 group of the Nedbank Cup tournament. The championship makes provision for small clubs in the amateur ranks to compete against big guns in the Premier Soccer League (PSL). The overall provincial winner between the ABC Motsepe League and SAB League team will compete for the only available provincial slot at a day yet to be announced.

Last year’s competition saw a major upset when Days FC from Odendaalsrus became the first-ever team in the SAB League to reach the last-32 group stage of the Nedbank Cup. However, Days had their cup dream crashed by the National First Division side Mbombela United when they lost by 2 – 5 to United in a match played in Welkom.

Tigers has managed to reach this stage in different years while in the National First Division League under a different two-title sponsorship.

Tigers are gunning for their second record in reaching the last-32 group stage of the Nedbank Cup, having first done so in 2014.

The Mangaung-based outfit lost to Cape Town side Milano United in the last-32 group knockout stage.

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