ALTHOUGH they cannot win the Safa-NMB SAB League title, Central Acemates could be king-makers.
A fortnight ago, the seventhplaced side effectively ended Callies’ hopes when they beat their Pefa neighbours 2-1. Tomorrow, they take on log-leaders Young Ideas at the Westbourne Oval.
Ideas have a five-point lead over Lion City, with Fairview Rovers a further point behind.
A slip could prove costly as they still have to play both their challengers in the second round. In the first round Ideas scored a close 2-1 win over Acemates.
Lion should keep the pressure on Ideas when they play Island City at the Jubilee field in Uitenhage. In the past four matches they have scored 15 goals, with two against.
In the first round they won 5-2, but the result could be a lot closer this time as Island are a vastly improved side.
Callies and Rovers clash in one of the most crucial matches of the weekend. After being one of the favourites to win the league title, Callies have dropped to sixth, 17 points behind Ideas.
“I know it will require a miracle with just 11 matches remaining but we have not given up hope,” Callies coach Monier Saffodien said.
Meanwhile, Rovers coach Brendon Prince acknowledges that they cannot afford to lose as it would give Ideas a nine-point lead.
“This is probably the biggest game of the season for both teams and neither one can afford to lose.
“We have to play both [Young] Ideas and Lion [City] in the second round, and they also have to play each other, so it is important we win the other games before we tackle them.
“We need to up our game as none of the teams are doing us any favours. All the boys are motivated and training hard.”
At the bottom of the log Ikamva Movers, Hotspurs, Peace United and Camper United continue their battle to avoid relegation.
Last week, Camper picked up an invaluable three points when they beat Central Acemates 1-0. They play Despatch Pioneers in Khayamnandi in what should be a close match. In the first round Pioneers won 2-1.
Peace – who also won last week, beating Highland Spurs 1-0 – play Hotspurs at the Dyke. Last week, Hotspurs were thrashed 6-0 by Motherwell Academy.
Movers, who were thrashed 5-0 by Lion last week, face a tough match against in-form Motherwell and could be in for another drubbing. They lost 3-2 in the first round. Fixtures: Tomorrow: Central Acemates v Young Ideas, Despatch Pioneers v Camper United, Fairview Rovers v Callies, Ghetto Stars v Showvillage United, Highland Spurs v Royal Bucks, Hotspurs v Peace United, Ikamva Movers v Motherwell Academy, Island City v Lion City