Highlands Park to be officially crowned NFD champions on Sunday

Highland Park players celebrating a goal against Eagles at Makhulong Stadium.
Highland Park players celebrating a goal against Eagles at Makhulong Stadium.
Image: Highlands Park/Twitter

Highlands Park will officially be crowned as National First Division champions when they are presented with their trophy on Sunday but it is the race between Black Leopards and Real Kings for a play-off place that tops the agenda.

The second tier season ends on Sunday (kick off 3pm) with all 16 teams in action‚ but there are two issues to be decided.

The first matter on the table is who goes to the promotion-relegation play-offs along with Jomo Cosmos‚ and the second is which one of four clubs will be relegated along with Mthahtha Bucks.

Cosmos are already guaranteed a top three slot and have another chance to keep up their tradition of yo-yoing between the divisions. Leopards have the advantage over Real Kings as they seek the other slot.

Leopards need only to draw their last game – ironically at home to Cosmos – while Kings must win at the same time against Cape Town All Stars‚ who are playing a final match before their franchise is moved to Johannesburg and renamed Moroka Swallows.

Leopards are looking to be in the play-offs for a second successive year after last season missing out when Baroka held onto their top flight status.

At the bottom‚ Nedbank Cup quarter-finalists Ubuntu Cape Town look set to go down after just one season in the NFD.

They must beat sixth placed Tshakhuma tsha Madzivhadila at home to stand any chance as they sit on 29 points in second last placed‚ but can still overtake Richards Bay‚ Super Eagles or Uthongathi‚ who are all on 31 points.

Super Eagles host the already-relegated Bucks in Bethlehem and Uthongathi are at home to the University of Pretoria‚ leaving Richards Bay the most vulnerable. They finish away at Mbombela United.

The end of season promotion-relegation play-offs start on Wednesday May 16 and run through until June 2.

Highlands Park are away at Stellenbosch at the Athlone Stadium‚ seeking a 21st win of the season as they have run away with top place in a dominant showing.

After the match‚ Owen da Gama’s side will be awarded their trophy.

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