Nine PSL teams still have relegation sword hanging over them

Ajax CT celebrates during the Absa Premiership match between Ajax Cape Town and Orlando Pirates at Cape Town Stadium on January 31, 2018 in Cape Town.
Ajax CT celebrates during the Absa Premiership match between Ajax Cape Town and Orlando Pirates at Cape Town Stadium on January 31, 2018 in Cape Town.
Image: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images

Focus in the PSL will be firmly fixed on the race for the championship on Saturday‚ but there is an intriguing battle at the bottom of the log where as many as five teams are in danger of being dragged into dreaded playoffs.

Platinum Stars’ relegation to the National First Division after 15 seasons in the paid ranks has been confirmed but the identity of the team to play in the promotion/relegation playoffs will be decided in the remaining two rounds of the campaign.

The team in most danger is second-from-bottom Ajax Cape Town (31 points)‚ who make the daunting trip to the capital to take on Mamelodi Sundowns.

Downs need a win at Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville to be crowned champions with a match to spare.

Third-last SuperSport United‚ Polokwane City (13th)‚ Bidvest Wits (12th)‚ Baroka FC (11th) and Lamontville Golden Arrows in 10th could also see themselves fighting for their lives in the playoffs if they fail to attain positive results in the remaining two matches.

Danger of the playoffs even still extends mathematically to Chippa United‚ AmaZulu and Bloemfontein Celtic‚ all on 35 points and who occupy positions seven‚ eight and nine respectively‚ if one of them fail to get the desired results and those below them win their last two matches.

SuperSport caretaker-coach Kaitano Tembo admitted that the thought of the club being relegated scares him.

“We have a big assignment in front of us because we are 14th on the log and closer to the relegation zone and we can actually be relegated.

“I want to achieve the mission that the club gave me to lead this team to safety. What is important is the pride of the club and the fans who love this club‚” Tembo said after SuperSport’s morale-boosting 3-2 win over Free State Stars on Wednesday.

“I was in this similar situation as a player in 1999/2000 where we were struggling under Roy Matthews. Bruce Grobbelaar came in and he managed to galvanize the team‚ which had quality players like Raymond Seopa‚ Japie Motale‚ Ronnie Zondi and John Moeti.

“I know that we have quality in this team. Sometimes you go through situations like these and I hope that we will learn from this.

“This has not happened to this club in 18 years but it gives us time to reflect and check where we can improve. We have been successful as a club over the past few years but this can make the club stronger.”

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