Relief for Stellies but Chippa have a big fight ahead
Battle for survival continues in three-team mini-league
While Maritzburg United and Stellenbosch secured their DStv Premiership status for another season, the struggle to save theirs continues for Chippa United.
A draw was enough for Maritzburg and Stellies to avoid the playoffs on the last day of the Premiership at the weekend.
However, the fight goes on for Chippa coach Lehlohonolo Seema and his team in a three-team mini-league in the playoffs against two teams from the Glad Africa Championship.
Chippa played to a 1-1 draw against SuperSport United in the Eastern Cape.
Stellies coach Steve Barker said he celebrated the stalemate with Golden Arrows as if he had won the game due to the impact of the results.
“This is the most that I have celebrated a goalless draw in my career. I am relieved because of this result. It is tough to describe it as we have been through the most difficult time this season. The last four games produced four 0-0 draws. We had to fight to keep our status and I am proud of the commitment of the players,” said a relieved Barker.
Seema said he has to prepare his side for the playoffs and use the second chance to retain their status. “We have to use the second chance to fight and stay in the league. We will not give up and we will do everything to fight for our bread and butter,” vowed Seema.
Maritzburg coach Ernst Middendorp, whose side drew 0-0 with AmaZulu, said: “We needed to support each other and not allow gaps, and hope to capitalise on the set-pieces. We could have stolen the win, but the draw is enough to save us. We secured our status after having two points in eight games and I see this as a huge achievement. We came out of a bad season and managed to avoid the playoffs. I am proud of my team.”