Prize money and glory the goal

2017-11-15 06:00

The Botshabelo-based amateur football outfit Lazio FC is in line to win prize money after qualifying for the Free State play-offs final of this year’s Nedbank Cup Championship’s last-32 group stage.

Campaigning in the South African Football Association’s (Safa) SAB League, the team qualified by virtue of winning the third-tier league play-offs.

This was played on a knockout basis and was staged in Kroonstad on 5 November.

Lazio will face off against second-tier opponents Bloemfontein Young Tigers for a place in the last-32 group stage.

Tigers and Lazio will clash in a decisive qualifier fixture at the Kaizer Sebothelo Stadium in Botshabelo today (15/11).

Lazio beat fellow ­third-division counterparts Sporting FC (Lejwele­putswa), Buffalo FC (Fezile Dabi) and Bethulie FC (Xhariep). The young Botshabelo lads overcame Bethulie FC with 4 – 2 on penalties and went on to hammer Sporting 3 – 1 to secure a slot in the play-offs final.

For reaching the provincial play-offs final Lazio are guaranteed R21 000 in prize money.

With further progress to the last-32 group stage, the Botshabelo-based side will receive an additional R100 000 in prize money.

Lazio hope to emulate Days FC by reaching the last-32 group stage of the Nedbank Cup Championship.

The Odendaalsrus-based side Days FC made history by becoming the Free State’s first-ever team in the lower division to reach the last-32 group stage of the tournament last year.

However, Days gave away the golden chance to progress further to the last-16 group stage by crashing 2 – 5 against Mbombela United, campaigners in the National First Division League.

Tigers qualified for the provincial play-offs final of the Nedbank Cup Championship’s last-32 group stage last month. Tigers are the winner of the provincial ABC Motsepe League after beating Sibanye Golden Stars by 1 – 0 in the play-offs staged at Glen College near Bloemfontein.

Tigers have managed to reach this stage of the football competition 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 stage.

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