rookies on rise

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

African Warriors have defied their rookie status in the National First Division and the Phuthaditjhaba side is now in a good position to qualify for the promotion playoffs in the off-season.

Warriors' chances of playoffs qualification became stronger last weekend after they won and the teams above them on the Inland Stream log failed to win.

Leaders FC AK were beaten 1-0 by Witbank Spurs and second-placed Dynamos drew 1-1 with battlers University of Pretoria.

The win lifted Jabu "Little Corporal" Khumalo's club to third spot on the table and they have 25 points, level with Dynamos.

They trail Bahumi by five points but the leaders face an uphill battle in their remaining four matches as they will also engage fourth-placed Winnerspark and Dynamos away.

Warriors host Mpumalanga Black Aces at Charles Mopeli Stadium in an afternoon clash tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Spurs' recent display does not suggest that the Mpumalanga club will be relegated at the end of the season.

Siyavutha are two points away from relegation, but it is likely that the axe will fall on last season's playoff finalists, AmaTuks, who are disappointing this season.

Perennial strugglers Western Province United appear to be a sure bet to be relegated in the Coastal Stream.

Hanover Park, who were beaten 2-1 by Maritzburg United in their last match, are also in danger, but they will be safe if they win three of their four remaining matches, and this will confirm United's relegation.

While WP United are trembling at the foot of the table, Bay United and Maritzburg United are embroiled in a neck-and-neck battle for promotion, at the other end of the table.

Bay United are on top on 36 points, while Maritzburg are second on 35.


Coastal Stream


King Zwelithini: Durban Stars v Nathi Lions (4pm); Blue Downs: FC Cape Town v Park (8pm); Harry Gwala: Maritzburg United v Ikapa Sporting (8pm)


Weinberg: WP United v Bay United (3pm)

Inland Stream


Tshwane: AmaTuks v GaRankuwa United (8pm); Charles Mopeli: Warriors v Aces (3.30pm); Ackerville: Spurs v Dynamos (3.30pm); Seshego: Winnerspark v FC AK (3.30pm).