League title race hots up as contenders scrape home

THE race for the Safa-NMB SAB League soccer title remains poised on a knife-edge as the three contenders scraped home to narrow victories.

With seven matches remaining, three teams are separated by a single point. Subs head the log on goal difference from Callies, with Lion City a point behind in third place.

On Saturday, Subs beat Showvillage United 2-0 at Motherwell’s NU2 Stadium. Both goals were scored in the first half.

After Xolani Mkina opened the scoring from 35m out Skhumbuza Mshweshwe scored the second just before halftime. Callies made heavy weather of their 2-1 win over Despatch Pioneers at Despatch’s Khayamnandi Stadium.

Sheniel Benn got onto the end of a cross by Gregory Damons to put Callies ahead five minutes into the game. Minutes later Emannuel Hendricks converted a free- kick to make it 2-0. Minutes before halftime the home side pulled one back from the penalty spot.

In the second half Callies created several opportunities but failed to capitalise.

“We know our destiny lies in our own hands,” Callies coach Monier Saffodien said.

“Subs and City have played each other in the second round and we have to play both. We have to beat both to win the title. We have enough depth in the squad to do just that.”

Just a month ago Callies were five points clear at the top of the log.

Meanwhile, City’s goal-scoring spree ground to a halt when they beat Island City 1-0 at the Jubilee field in Uitenhage. In their last three matches City scored 14 goals with just two against.

On Saturday a thunderous strike by Sinethemba Matsha five minutes into the second half was enough to secure maximum points and keep City a point behind the log-leaders. Of the also-rans Hotspurs remain fourth – 23 points behind the front-runners despite losing 2-1 to Highland Spurs.

Fairview Rovers, who could only finish fourth at best, thrashed Central Acemates 5-0.

Results:

Tomorrow Stars 2 Peace United 0, Central Acemates 0 Fairview Rovers 5, Royal Bucks 0 Camper United 0, Motherwell Academy 2 Morning Stars 2, Despatch Pioneers 1 Callies 2, Subs 2 Showvillage 0, Lion City 1 Island City 0, Highland Spurs 2 Hotspurs 1. – Mogan Segadavan

 

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