Royal Eagles are adamant they can gain promotion to the Absa Premiership. Photo:Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
NFD outfit Royal Eagles are adamant that they can still book themselves a place in top-flight football.

Eagles have suffered the disappointment of missing out on automatic promotion on the last day of the league. They succumbed to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of the relegated Ubuntu Cape Town side.

Eagles headed to Cape Town knowing that they had to deal with their own issues first, and then focus on the other team. They needed to defeat Ubuntu and hope that Maccabi FC were going to do them a favour by beating Stellenbosch  or at least holding them to a stalemate.

And Maccabi did just that, holding Stellenbosch to a 0-0 draw. All Eagles needed to do was to score four unanswered goals and they would win the league with a superior goal difference

So Eagles finished the league in second place with 53 points from 30 outings. They will now contest the promotional play-offs alongside Tshakhuma, who finished third on the table.

The PSL finishes this weekend and the team that ends 15th on the log will join Eagles and Tshakhuma in the play-offs, which kick off next week.

Eagles captain Philani Cele emphasised that not all was lost for the KwaZulu-Natal-based side.

“I’m dejected because we didn’t get the desired results. But we have to put this behind us and focus on the play-offs,” Cele said.

The players have been given a three-day break. Eagles will begin at home next week against a PSL side that has yet to be determined.

Maritzburg United, Black Leopards, Chippa United, Free State Stars and Baroka FC are in the relegation dogfight. One of these clubs will be relegated and one will compete in the play-offs.

“We will be well prepared for any team. We are starting at home, and have to make sure we collect points in our home matches,” Cele said.

Eagles will have to be at their best in the play-offs, he said.

“I’m really disappointed. But it is in our own hands right now, so there’s no reason we can’t believe,” Cele said.

@Minenhlecr7


The Mercury

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