JOHANNESBURG – The battle to remain in the Premiership will go down to the wire after the relegation-haunted sides achieved favourable results yesterday.
Bottom side Maritzburg United beat SuperSport United 3-1 to give themselves a fighting chance in the final match of the season against a Baroka FC outfit that is nowhere near safe.
Many will feel victory was hollow though, as Maritzburg remain bottom of the table as the teams above them also did well.
Chippa United smashed Polokwane City 3-1, Free State Stars drew 1-1 with Kaizer Chiefs, Black Leopards and AmaZulu shared the points after a 1-1 stalemate, and Baroka lost 3-1 to Bidvest Wits.
Fortune Makaringe was the star as he created all the three goals for the ‘Team of Choice’ that should have killed the match off as a contest by halftime, given the numerous opportunities they created before the break.
He delivered the square pass to find Mohau Mokate’s head right on the penalty spot to direct the ball goalwards.
Incredibly, Maritzburg fluffed no less than two good chances and Aubrey Modiba equalised two minutes after the break with a splendid left footer from the edge of the box.
But Judas Moseamedi came off the bench to score a brace thanks to some super passes from Makaringe for a great win that gave them a fighting chance and left the Maritzburg faithful celebrating as though they had already survived.
They remain bottom of the table and will have to win out in Polokwane next weekend.
Even with a victory though, Maritzburg’s survival will still be dependent on what happens above them.
Leopards, who are just one point ahead, host a Cape Town City side that will want to finish the season on a high.
#AbsaPrem RESULTS:— IOL Sport (@IOLsport) May 4, 2019
AmaZulu 1-1 Black Leopards
Maritzburg United 3-1 SuperSport United
Highlands Park 1-0 Bloemfontein Celtic
Polokwane City 1-3 Chippa United
Kaizer Chiefs 1-1 Free State Stars
Wits 3-1 Baroka FC
But with Free State Stars playing a Mamelodi Sundowns side that will be going for the title, Maritzburg will bank on an Ea Lla Koto defeat to help them through.
Another side on 27 points is Chippa United who now play Chiefs.
It all makes for a fascinating finish to the season, with no less than five teams in danger of being relegated automatically.
Not that Maritzburg were thinking of that yesterday, the Team of Choice having literally came back from the dead to give themselves a chance of staying up in the elite league.