Larsen, Magesi on the verge of promotion to Premiershi

A win against Milford today will all but seal promotion for Clinton Larsen and his Magesi side in the Motsepe Foundation Championship. | BackpagePix

A win against Milford today will all but seal promotion for Clinton Larsen and his Magesi side in the Motsepe Foundation Championship. | BackpagePix

Published May 5, 2024


WHILE the battle for the DStv Premiership championship was a boring one-horse race, the contest for promotion to the elite league is anything but.

The Motsepe Foundation Championship title race remains on a knife-edge with three matches to go in the 2023/24 campaign. It is in stark contrast to the top league where Mamelodi Sundowns won a seventh successive championship with six matches still to be played.

Even though Magesi FC seem set to be crowned kings of the First Division, the Limpopo outfit know they cannot take anything for granted with the University of Pretoria breathing down their necks.

Victory over Milford FC, whom they host at the old Peter Mokaba Stadium this afternoon, will see Clinton Larsen’s team get to an unassailable 55 points. That tally can only be matched by AmaTuks, dependent on them winning all their remaining three matches and Magesi losing two.

And given that they are seven goals better off than AmaTuks, victory today is surely going to be enough to see the team from Polokwane mixing it up with the big boys next season.

They go into the match on the back of a 2-0 win away to bottom dwellers Platinum City Rovers. Bet on Larsen’s boys to be firing on all cylinders, enthused as they should be by that victory and the lure of bigger paydays in the Premiership.

The same should be the case for AmaTuks whose good run in the Nedbank Cup gave them a taste of playing against the elite.

They are away to a Black Leopards who will be looking for revenge after the 1-0 loss they suffered in the reverse encounter back in October. AmaTuks need maximum points considering that even their play-offs position is not yet guaranteed.

Below them Baroka FC and JDR Stars are in a heated contest for the second play-off spot, the two sides locked on 42 points each with Baroka ahead courtesy of a better goal difference. And having previously been in the Premiership, the outfit from Lebowakgomo are likely to be the most eager to have a go at finishing in the top three.

Under Coach Dan Malesela, Baroka have been pretty impressive, turning from a team that only last season looked likely to be relegated, to an outfit on the periphery of promotion play-offs. They host neighbours Marumo Gallants – who have fallen so badly from being CAF Confederation Cup semi-finalists to facing the ignominy of dropping to the amateur ranks.

Victory for Baroka will have them on 45 points and JDR Stars will have to beat Orbit College to stay in contention for third place on the same number of points, though behind Bakgaga on goal difference.

Brace yourselves for a humdinger of matchday 28 this afternoon.

NFD fixtures today (all at 3pm)

Magesi FC v Milford; Black Leopards v University of Pretoria; Baroka FC v Marumo Gallants; JDR Stars v Orbit College; Maritzburg United v Hungry Lions; Casric Stars v Platinum City Rovers; Upington City v MM Platinum; Pretoria Callies v Venda Academy.

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