JOHANNESBURG – With only two games to play in this season’s MultiChoice Diski Challenge (MDC) league just five points separate first position from fifth in the log standings.
This means that the title race is still wide open, as the championship could go anywhere. The situation could be settled this weekend as two of the top five teams - Golden Arrows and Orlando Pirates - go head-to-head.
Mihlali Baleka gives a brief analysis of the title contenders.
Golden Arrows - 29 points
Arrows are no newcomers in contesting for the league title, as they topped the table in the 2015/2016 season.
Abafana Bes’thende currently top the log and with two games to go they only need a single win to claim their second MDC title in just three seasons.
Their ability in maintaining the same the technical team for the past three seasons seems to have paid off so far.
Bloemfontein Celtic - 25 points
Last season’s runners-up, Celtic will be hoping to make amends for the previous misfortunes, thus ensuring that they collect maximum points in the last two encounters and leaving their fate to be decided by other teams.
Siwelele saMasele’s powerhouse in front of goal has been their strong point this season although they have had a tendency of losing and dropping vital points along the way. Their 4-0 victory against Chippa United in the last outing might be a sign that they now understand what’s at stake.
Ajax Cape Town - 24 points
To some it was overdue that it is only now that the Cape Town-based team is challenging for the MDC title, i.e four years after its inception. The club’s academy has polished some of the best talent this country has ever had: these are players who’ve been trendsetters locally and abroad. Ajax’s strength this season was being able to utilise their famous ground, Ikamva, to their advantage as they made it quite difficult for opponents to walk away with three points.
Maritzburg United - 24 points
Maritzburg's tenure in the MDC has been propelled by the support the management has given its youth structures. It’s since been a trend in the Team of Choice’s reserve team that a starlet should be produced for the first team every season. However, the Pietermarizburg based-side have upped their game a bit this season, showing that they can produce the talent and at the same time instill a winning mentality to their upcoming stars. They are currently one of the three teams after Arrows to have lost the least number of games (three) in the league.
Orlando Pirates - 24 points
The Mighty Buccaneers occupy the fifth spot on the table standings. Last campaign, the club’s poor run of form seems to have also affected the reserve side as well, as they could only manage an eighth-place finish on the log standings. The new breath of life at the club this season seems to show in the reserve team, once again hence they are now among the teams in line for the championship.