AFTER the conclusion of the Absa Premiership this past weekend, the attention now turns to the promotion play-offs as the battle for the remaining spot in the big time begins.
Maritzburg United, Royal Eagles and Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM) will battle it out for the 16th spot in the PSL next season.
National First Division (NFD) champions Stellenbosch FC have already sealed their spot for next season, replacing relegated Free State Stars.
Maritzburg, who did well to avoid automatic relegation to the NFD on the final day, will be determined to cling on to their top flight status.
The Team of Choice pulled off a stunning escape, having spent the better part of the season at the bottom of the standings, but will have to negotiate the play-offs before they can celebrate being safely out of the woods.
Eric Tinker’s charges, though, will head into the play-offs brimming with confidence, given their recent showings that saw them lay it all on the line for their spot in the money-spinning Premiership.
However, Eagles and TTM, who finished second and third in the NFD respectively, will have something to say about that as they too are eying the final spot in the land of milk and honey.
Sazi Ngubane’s Eagles, who finished second in the NFD, pushed hard for automatic relegation, but ultimately fell short after they suffered a shock 1-0 defeat to relegated Ubuntu Cape Town on the final day. They have a chance, though, to ensure that their efforts this season were not in vain.
TTM, on the other hand, would not have been among the favourites to secure a play-off spot, given how their season was plagued with inconsistency.
Vhadau vha Damani, as Momcilo “Moma” Medic’s TTM are affectionately known, came good when it mattered as they stepped up their game in the latter part of the season, going unbeaten in their final 8 games to pip Ajax Cape Town to the final play-off spot.
HOW IT WORKS:
- The play-offs are contested in a league format (three points for a win) by the top two teams in the NFD, Eagles and TTM, along with the team that finishes 15th in the Absa Premiership, Maritzburg United.
- All three teams will play home and away games against each other, with the team that finish top of the standings earning a spot in the big time.
- Eagles and TTM will get things underway tomorrow in an all NFD tie, while The Team of Choice will play their first match on Sunday against Eagles.