Supersport United were able to beat Baroka and avoid the play-off's. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Dean Furman can go and get married. Doctor Khumalo can claim to have rescued Baroka FC from a brush with relegation and consider his next move.

That was the story here in Atteridgeville after this narrow victory for SuperSport United meant the 2008, 2009 and 2010 Absa Premiership champions had survived the scare of having to compete in the play-offs this month in a bid to preserve their status in the elite division. That possibility had captain Furman sweating.

The skipper is due to tie the knot on May 27 to his girlfriend of several years, but their wedding date clashed with the play-offs – a bit of an inconvenience for the Bafana Bafana midfielder.   

However, teammate Aubrey Modiba’s goal from a dubious penalty proved enough to help Matsatsantsa leapfrog to 10th place on the table and avoid their season being extended.

This was also a must-win clash for Baroka, whose capitulation over the course of the campaign put them in this position despite being top of the log after seven matches.

Standing in the dugout was Kaizer Chiefs legend Doctor Khumalo, a man who was appointed technical director at the club a the start of the season before he was asked to step in for the remaining two matches after McDonald Makhubedu, himself a replacement for Kgoloko Thobejane, resigned as a result of “undue pressure”.

The football was far from pretty, but the two teams were well aware of the fact that Ajax Cape Town would have to beat Chiefs in the Mother City to put either one of them in danger of heading into the play-offs.

In the end, the Urban Warriors were beaten 2-1 by Amakhosi, effectively guaranteeing both SuperSport and Baroka of their status in the Premier League.

Khumalo now has a big decision to make: does he consider taking the coaching job on a full-time basis as it is rumoured it has been offered to him or does he return to spiritual home in Naturena. It has been reported that the club wants Khumalo to return as an assistant coach to the new man to be hired next month to fill the vacant head coach post.

While SuperSport supporters and the few Baroka fans that travelled all the way from Limpopo celebrated seeing their teams remain in topflight football, they will both need to do some serious introspection with regards to what went wrong this season and how to get it right in the upcoming campaign – which will kick-off in August.

So there really isn’t much time, but some of the mistakes cannot be repeated, especially with SuperSport also in the hunt for a new head coach.

IOL Sport

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