Old rivals compete for crown again

2017-03-22 06:03
Queen Modutoane, Kovsie coach. Photo:Teboho Setena

Queen Modutoane, Kovsie coach. Photo:Teboho Setena

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The championship race in the Mangaung SAB League is a repeat of the last three seasons, with two teams as the favourites to clinch the title. Two rival clubs, usual suspects Kingston and Kovsies, are in the lead.

Kovsies, the team of the University of the Free State (UFS), and Kingston from Heidedal continue their domination, as has been the case over the past three seasons. Both sides have tasted the joy of winning the championship and qualified for promotion play-offs for the second tier league of the current ABC Motsepe League.

However, at the promotion play-offs they failed dismally to show the mettle that saw them rule within the greater Mangaung, as they faded at the gates of glory.

Kingston won the 2014-’15 edition, while Kovsies claimed 2015-’16.

Currently leading the race, Kovsies (59 points), guided by coach Queen Modutoane, are poised to lift the championship trophy for the second time in a row. They have an edge of eight points over their closest challengers, Kingston (51 points), led by coach Lebogang Mothibantwa. Kovsies has been riding the crest of the wave for a while, while Kingston battles to narrow the gap, hoping to unseat the reigning champions.

However, Kingston’s remarkable fight to narrow the gap to eight points has put the defending champions under immense pressure. A loss or draw for Kovsies in two matches will be devastating in their title quest in the event of Kingston winning two games. The gap will be just two points or a point.

With eight matches left to play to end the current season, the race for the league crown is on. This scenario compels both sides to unleash their best to reconquer the Mangaung region’s league, played under the auspices of the South African Football Association (Safa).

The fiercely contested championship will reach its climax on 5 April, when the two title-chasing teams meet in an all-important league fixture. The encounter is crucial for both sides, as it will determine where the title is heading.

The stakes are high, as Kingston will be gunning to end Kovsie’s unbeaten record, while the latter will be fighting to retain their record and win to strengthen their odds of taking the championship.

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