Expect thrills and spills as drama unfolds on last day of PSL season
As the 2022-2023 Premier Soccer League (PSL) campaign comes to an end on Saturday, at least three things are yet to be decided with certainty and will add spice to proceedings on the last day.
This is despite Mamelodi Sundowns having already wrapped up their programme and been crowned as kings of South African football for a sixth successive season.
Masandawana are guaranteed to at least win the championship with a 17-point gap between a team that might finished second or third.
It is, however, the last day drama that had Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro quipping after his team's penultimate match last weekend that the final day will be spent with fans not only glued to what their team is doing but how their rivals respond.
Pirates, on 51 points, are very much part of the of biggest permutations on Saturday as they have to win their final match against AmaZulu in Durban to be almost certain of finishing as runners-up to Sundowns.
Only two goals separate Pirates from third-placed SuperSport United who must also beat Sekhukhune United by as many goals in Polokwane to have a chance of leapfrogging the Buccaneers.
The biggest prize for second position is qualification for Africa's elite interclub competition, the Caf Champions League, and consolation for a team finishing third is a slot in the Caf Confederation Cup next season.
With Sundowns, Pirates, SuperSport, Kaizer Chiefs and Cape Town City having already secured their top eight positions, it is Stellenbosch, Sekhukhune, Swallows, Lamontville Golden Arrows and TS Galaxy who will play their last matches still looking for points to join them.
The top eight chasers' results will not only influence the outcome of what they want to accomplish but may also decide other crucial spots.
Sekhukhune will have a say on whether SuperSport finish second or not.
Wins for Swallows and Arrows in their matches against Marumo Gallants and Chippa United respectively will mean straight relegation for Chippa and send Marumo to relegation/promotion playoffs against first division clubs Cape Town Spurs and Casric Stars next month.
Galaxy have to beat Stellies to have a chance of finishing in the top eight.
Three teams are involved in this battle: Maritzburg United who are on 30 points with -16 goal difference and already finished their season; Marumo on 29 points and -5 goal difference; and Chippa on 29 points and -15 goal difference.
Now, any kind of draw for both Chippa and Marumo in their respective matches against Arrows and Swallows will mean straight relegation for Maritzburg because of their inferior goal difference.
All of these clubs will be on 30 points with Marumo surviving relegation while Chippa go to promotion/relegation playoffs because they would have finished in 15th spot.
A loss for either Marumo or Chippa will send Maritzburg to the playoffs but a loss for both Marumo and Chippa will see Maritzburg surviving relegation, with Marumo going to playoffs to fight for their PSL status.
So, get a bowl full of popcorn and fasten your seat belts as you watch the drama of the PSL's last round unfold.
Would you like to comment on this article?
Register (it's quick and free) or sign in now.
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.