July 13, 2024

Maritzburg United Forces PSL Playoffs To Final Day

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United defeated the playoffs’ whipping boys Casric Stars 2-0 at the Solomon Mahlangu Stadium this past weekend.

FILE PHOTO: Nazeer Allie of Cape Town Spurs and Karim Kimvuidi of Maritzburg United during the PSL Playoffs match at Athlone Stadium in Cape Town on Saturday. PICTURE: Gallo Images

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JOHANNESBURG: For Spurs, a draw will be enough to seal the promotion while Maritzburg needs nothing short of a win to stand a chance of survival.

United defeated the playoffs’ whipping boys Casric Stars 2-0 at the Solomon Mahlangu Stadium this past weekend.

The win has helped the United to reach six points and is thus only three points adrift from the playoffs’ log leaders, Cape Town Spurs, which won three games on the trot. 

Therefore, the Team of Choice stands a chance to preserve its DSTV Premiership status. Fadlu Davids’ team left Gauteng with momentum on its side heading to the final game, as it will welcome Shaun Bartlett and his charges to the Harry Gwala Stadium on Wednesday, 14 July 2023. 

The equation is straightforward for both teams. For Spurs, a draw will be enough to seal the promotion while Maritzburg needs nothing short of a win to stand a chance of survival. If it ends in a stalemate, then the team from the Mother City will have 10 points and Maritzburg will finish with seven points.

Therefore, the Harry Gwala-based side will be demoted to the Motsepe Foundation Championship for a 2023/24 season. A win for Maritzburg will put it on equal points with Spurs, but it has a superior goal difference of four goals as compared to Spurs’ three. Therefore, a win for Maritzburg would retain its DSTV Premiership status by virtue of a goal difference.

Fadlu will pin his hopes on star-attacker Rowan Human to continue on his rich vein of form in the playoffs. Human has scored three goals in four games. Bartlett, on the other hand, will be hoping for consistency from his players. Wednesday’s game is not one to be missed.

A lot will be riding on this game, more so the financial perks of playing in the top flight of South African football, such as a R2,3 million monthly grant received by clubs. The grant is significantly higher than a R750 000 one for Motsepe Foundation Championship clubs.

In the DSTV Premiership, clubs have an opportunity to make quick cash through knockout competitions, such as the MTN8 and the Nedbank Cup. 

Regarding the Nedbank Cup, the top-flight clubs automatically qualify for the last 32. 

It will go down to the wire between Maritzburg and Spurs, with huge implications for both clubs at the end of the game. Top-flight football with national exposure or a season in the Motsepe Foundation Championship with limited funds and exposure.

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