THE top four teams in the Eastern Cape ABC Motsepe League are set for an intriguing battle in the race for the league title.
The league race was fiercely contested by three teams – Mthatha Bucks, Tembu Royals and Port Elizabeth-based Highbury – for the better part of the first round. Current log leaders Angavu Stars, from Queenstown, joined the race shortly before the end of the first-round fixtures.
And now, with only four games remaining, second- placed Highbury and Angavu Stars are level on 57 points from 26 games at the top of the log table but Stars lead with a goal difference of 12.
East London side FC Buffalo are in third position on 55 points from the same number of games while Bucks have since dropped to fourth place on 54 points.
Only the team that finishes on top of the log table automatically qualifies for the Safa Second Division national playoffs to be played in July, while the last two teams are relegated to the lower division (SAB League).
The winners from the SAB Regional League stand a chance for promotion to the ABC Motsepe League after a series of provincial playoffs.
Safa’s director of competitions, Jeff Monnakgotla, said it was very interesting that the teams were fighting for the provincial championship title of the league.
“I must confirm that the winner of each provincial ABC Motsepe League qualifies for the annual Safa Second Division League national playoffs.
“The provincial winner is the team with the most number of points. If two teams end the season with the same number of points, the league winner will be determined by goal difference.”
Monnakgotla praised all the teams for displaying a high standard of football.
He said they expected all of the provinces’ semi-professional football league fixtures to be concluded by the middle of next month.
The five-day-long national playoff would take place from July 25-30 in Durban. – Mthetho Ndoni