AmaTuks smelling promotion, Swallows face relegation

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Swallows FC attacker Kagiso Malinga and Aupa Moeketsi of University of Pretoria are likely to cross paths in their make or break PSL Promotion Play-off game today. Photo: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images
Swallows FC attacker Kagiso Malinga and Aupa Moeketsi of University of Pretoria are likely to cross paths in their make or break PSL Promotion Play-off game today. Photo: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images


There will be a full quota of 16 Premiership teams before the sun sets on Wednesday.

Promotion-chasing University of Pretoria (AmaTuks) will have the upper hand when they take on Swallows FC in the deciding match of the PSL promotion/relegation play-offs at Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville.

READ: Hope for AmaTuks as Swallows stumble

There will be jubilation and ecstasy around 5pm when the final whistle is blown.

Kickoff is at 3pm and the winner will join GladAfrica Championship winners Richards Bay in the DStv Premiership next season.

A draw will be enough for AmaTuks to secure their place in the premier division after a six-year absence.

For Swallows, anything less than a win will spell doom and gloom.

READ: Swallows’ survival bid back in spotlight

AmaTuks have their noses in front as they top the three-team play-offs mini league on five points from three matches while Swallows are on the back foot with four points.

Having finished 15th in the Premiership this season, the play-offs presents the last chance for the Soweto club to avoid slipping back into the lower ranks following their revival three seasons ago.

READ: Relegation dogfight down to the wire

The two teams drew 0-0 when they met in the first leg at Tuks Stadium on June 4.

There is no doubt that Swallows will be under intense pressure to secure their lucrative status. They will remember that when the two teams met in a friendly match earlier this season, AmaTuks crushed their premiership opponents 6-0.

Once one of the country’s top three clubs, Swallows endured successive relegation from 2017 and they slipped further into the football wilderness with two more relegations after plummeting to the amateur ranks.

It is hard to see how Swallows can rekindle their glory days and return to the top flight if they suffer another relegation.

But in coach Dylan Kerr, Swallows will have some sort of motivation.

Kerr has carved out a reputation for saving teams from the jaws of relegation having done so with Black Leopards and Baroka to survival in 2019 and 2020, respectively.

Baroka suffered automatic relegation after finishing bottom of the Premiership log in the just-concluded season. They will be joined by either Swallows or AmaTuks in the NFD next season.

Ten Premiership clubs have tried and failed in the 17-year history of the PSL promotion/relegation play-offs. Swallows are among them, having previously falling short in the play-offs after they were relegated from top flight at the end of the 2014/ 15 season.


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