Season nears end

2019-04-24 06:01
Mangaung Unite’s captain, Bulelani Nikane (maroon and white), and Kovsie’s Dylan O’Brien will lead their clubs in all-important ABC Motsepe League fixtures.Photo: Teboho Setena

Mangaung Unite’s captain, Bulelani Nikane (maroon and white), and Kovsie’s Dylan O’Brien will lead their clubs in all-important ABC Motsepe League fixtures.Photo: Teboho Setena

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Mangaung Unite is set to be welcomed onto the field with a guard of honour as the 2018-’19 Free State ABC Motsepe League champions take on Free State Stars on Saturday (27/04).

This is one of the eight matches that end the 2018-’19 season.

All of the eight fixtures are scheduled to kick off at 15:00 as per decision taken by the South African Football Association (Safa).

The game between Mangaung and Stars is one of the two matches taking place at the University of the Free State’s (UFS) Bloemfontein campus. The other will be played between Kovsie and Harmony.

As the 2017-’18 champions, Mangaung will also be applauded by staunch supporters when coming onto the field for the trophy presentation afterwards.

Last season (2017-’18), the presentation happened in the absence of the players and took place indoors, with the club’s management receiving the trophy from Safa’s provincial leadership.

This happened due to a saga that the federation had failed to decisively deal with.

The dubious matter came into play after Qwaqwa-based Dikwena United was allowed to play the final fixture against Bloemfontein Young Tigers despite pitching late for the match that was scheduled to kick off at 15:00, simultaneously with all other fixtures.

Tigers scored an avalanche of 12 goals to equal the record of Mangaung.

After Safa’s national disciplinary committee ruled the match null and void, Mangaung was declared the winner, with the trophy presentation taking place in the absence of the players who were already in Limpopo for the promotion play-offs to the National First Division League.

Saturday’s presentation will be a worthy celebration for the Mangaung players and management alike, as the trophy presentation is guaranteed to happen with everyone present.

Co-owned by Sinki Leshabane and Dr Moeketsi Mosola, the reigning champions avoided the controversy of the previous season by winning the championship with five matches to spare.

Mangaung’s captain, Bulelani Nikane, will lead his team to the podium, while Dylan O’Brien will spearhead Kovsie to avert relegation.

Last year’s runner-up, Tigers, are likely to again claim the second prize, with victory over their home rivals Bloemfontein Celtic.

However, that is only possible if Harmony, also eyeing the second prize, lose in the last fixture against relegation-bound Kovsie.

The match is a must-win for the University of the Free State’s outfit.

Kovsie, Lijabatho, Glen Knowledge, Mphatlalatsane and Stars are all compelled to win on Saturday to avoid the dreaded relegation to the lower rank.


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