South African domestic leagues had to be suspended as a precautionary measure to reduce and prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
South African domestic leagues had to be suspended as a precautionary measure to reduce and prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

OPINION: What might have been in our local leagues

By Mihlali Baleka Time of article published Mar 20, 2020

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The champions were not going to be crowned this week. The majority of the title contenders would still have a chance.

But after this week, the title chasers would have pointers to their fate.

But the South African domestic leagues had to be suspended as a precautionary measure to reduce and prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

Mihlali Baleka has some permutations of what could have happened to the top three teams in each league had the fixtures gone ahead as planned.

Absa Premiership

Kaizer Chiefs

The log leaders couldn’t have afforded to drop any points in their postponed matches against Bidvest Wits on Wednesday and Polokwane City on Sunday.

This after the Glamour Boys dropped three valuable points in their last outing, losing to bottom club AmaZulu, which allowed Mamelodi Sundowns to close at the gap to four points.

Mamelodi Sundowns

The champions would have been out for vengeance as they were set to host Orlando Pirates on Tuesday.

Three points from there would have seen them close the gap at the top to a point, banking on Wits to defeat Chiefs on Wednesday.

From thereon, they’d climb to the top with a win over Highlands Park tomorrow night, with Chiefs set to play Polokwane the next day.

SuperSport United

With the league title appearing to be out of sight as they trail Chiefs, who have a game in hand, by eight points, SuperSport’s target is a continental qualifying spot.

Three points at home against Bloemfontein Celtic would have led them in the right direction.

GladAfrica Championship

Ajax Cape Town

The Urban Warriors may be top of the log standings but they are far from being guaranteed the promised land - outright promotion.

Tomorrow, though, they’d have had a chance to extend their lead to 11 points when they welcomed Richards Bay to the Athlone Stadium, while relying on Swallows FC to lose to TS Sporting.

Swallows

Having amassed only one point in their last two matches - after losing to University of Pretoria and drawing with Uthongathi FC - the Dube Birds had a chance to return to winning ways against TS Sporting tomorrow.

Sure, Ajax hold the winning cards for automatic promotion but the only justice that Swallows can do for themselves is winning their matches and holding firmly onto the promotion play-off spot.

Uthongathi

Third on the log standings and 10 points behind Ajax, Uthongathi’s realistic target is a promotion play-off spot in the last six matches.

Tomorrow, they would have hosted JDR Stars, who are one point and position behind them, hoping to ensure they consolidate their spot in the top-three.

MultiChoice Diski Challenge

Bidvest Wits

Two convincing wins from their last two matches of the season would be enough to crown the Clever Boys the reserve league champions.

Wits are top of the standings with 64 points and six in the last two matches would take them to 70. A penultimate match win against AmaZulu on Sunday would’ve been a step in the right direction.

Orlando Pirates

The Buccaneers’ fate is not in their hands.

They can only finish the season with 66 points, while Wits, with two draws from their last two matches, could equal that tally but still win the league on goal difference.

But those in the know will tell you that football is a funny game - so Pirates must fight until the last game. That’s why they badly needed a win away to Polokwane City tomorrow.

Mamelodi Sundowns

In the midst of their pending disciplinary case for failing to provide match resources for their game against Cape Town City, Sundowns cannot afford to drop any points in their remaining games.

Sundowns are third with 58 points, six adrift of Wits.

Should the Brazilians be sanctioned three points for their negligence, winning the other nine points on offer might still not be enough if Wits, who hold a nine-goal difference, wins their last two matches.

Nonetheless, Downs still have to win their games - where they hoped to have started against Maritzburg United tomorrow - and let the calculators take care of themselves.

@MihlaliBaleka 


The Star

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