Natal Rich Boyz aim to be first on the draw

VUSUMUZI Vilakazi of Richards Bay. BackpagePix

VUSUMUZI Vilakazi of Richards Bay. BackpagePix

Published Jun 19, 2024



PREMIERSHIP outfit Richards Bay host Motsepe Foundation Championship hopefuls Baroka FC in a crunch PSL promotion/relegation play-off fixture at the King Goodwill Zwelithini Stadium today (kick-off 3pm).

Richards Bay’s fate lies in their hands. They need a draw or a win to maintain their Premiership status. In that event, the other two teams in the play-offs, Baroka and University of Pretoria, will remain in the Championship.

MORGAN Mammila of Baroka. BackpagePix

However, if Richards Bay lose, the final scoreline could also be a decisive factor since all three teams will finish with five points.

The University of Pretoria will be mere onlookers today because they have completed their three games, but will win the play-offs and secure promotion if Baroka defeat Richards Bay.

Baroka, on the other hand, will secure promotion to the Premiership if they beat Richards Bay by a two-goal margin.

Richards Bay coach Vusumuzi Vilakazi is hoping his charges remain unbeaten in the play-offs after a win and two draws. He sounded a warning to his opposite number Morgan Mammila that it will be a tough encounter.

“We are playing at home and their coach (Mammila) must know that he’s in for a very tough one,” said Vilakazi.

“We haven’t lost a game, and we’re not gonna lose a game starting with Baroka at home. They failed to beat us away, so we can’t allow them to beat us at home.

“It is going be a very interesting one because he also has hope. I think he needs about three goals if I’m not mistaken to make it to the PSL and that’s not gonna happen against us.”

Mammila said he is praying for an abundance of goals today.

“I’m praying for five and it’s possible. We need to believe that five is possible,” said Mammila, who was surprisingly appointed a few days ago after Baroka made a shock decision to place coach Dan Malesela on special leave.

Mammila will be looking to Kabelo Kgositsile to spearhead Baroka’s attack. The promising left winger provided the assist for Baroka’s only goal of the play-offs and he will be keen to play a key role in helping his side secure a win in Durban.

Richards Bay’s 22-year-old striker Yanele Mbuthuma has two goals in three play-off matches and might be the player to inspire the Natal Rich Boyz to a win over Baroka.

This will be the second-ever meeting between Richards Bay and Baroka with their first match ending goalless earlier in June.

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