Polokwane City managed to avoid going to a promotional play-off. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

That Rodney Ramagalela did not seal the Absa Premiership golden boot and perhaps explains just why City found themselves in danger of going into the play-offs on the final day of the 2017-18 season.

The striker who will share the accolade with Mamelodi Sundowns’ Percy Tau after they both scored 11 goals had numerous scoring opportunities that he fluffed, a story of his and the club’s season really.

And while he was getting hugs aplenty from his teammates and officials at the end of proceedings, the well-travelled striker will look back at not just this match, but the season as a whole and know he kicked a gift horse in the mouth.

He started like a house on fire and had two good chances to put the home side ahead before the game was even ten minutes old. But he used none and City found themselves trailing seven minutes before the break after Linda Mntambo had opened the scoring with an easy tap in from inside the box after he had combined with Mxolisi Machupu.

City though, aware of the dangers losing would have brought, responded swiftly and restored parity within four minutes courtesy of Bongile Booi who slotted in from close range.

When Chippa went a man down after Abel Mabaso got a second yellow card, City went for the kill but their efforts fizzled out into nothing, their finishing as blunt as a butter knife.

There was also the big role played by Chippa goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi who pulled off numerous great saves as he put his parrying talents to great use to deny the home side’s strikers.

Coach Bernard Molekwa had said before the match that he was not really worried about his team’s chances of avoiding the play-offs and citing the fact that they do score goals as a source of his confidence. And the many chances they created bore testimony to his words.

They had what looked like a legitimate penalty call early in the first half waved away by referee Chris Harrison and the crowd immediately started chanting “ there’s witchcraft somewhere”.

When he looks back at this season, Ramagalela will rue not having won the golden boot alone, such were the many chances he had to score more than the 11 he did.

Will be he crying ‘witchcraft’? 

He shouldn’t. And many will actually argue that it was his goals that ensured City stayed up and avoided going into the play-offs.

IOL Sport

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