MAY 3 was the day of joy for some and sadness for other in the country’s National First Division (NFD) rank, WRITES NAKAMPE LEKWADU.
The moment of joy was in KwaZulu-Natal’s Umhlathuze Sports Complex were Thanda Royal Zulu’s long cherish dream for their return to the Absa Premiership became a reality after a comfortable 2-1 victory over the visiting Stellenbosch FC.
Relegated after their poor performance back in 2008/09 season, Royals are back in the top flight league after spending almost eight years in the football doldrums of the NFD.
The day however was not a good one for the once darling of Cape Town, Santos whose relegation to the second division (ABC Motsepe League) was confirmed.
This after The People’s Team failed to secure the much needed full points, playing to a 1-all draw against fellow elite league counterparts Jomo Cosmos at Athlone Stadium in Cape Town.
Santos (16th place with 19 points from 27 matches) managed only three wins from 27 matches and have drawn 10 times, losing 14 matches and there is no way they can avoid the chop even if they can win all their remaining three matches as their fellow relegation candidates are on the safe line.
Meanwhile the race for the top three finish is still on with six clubs at each other’s trail.
Leopards are currently on the second position with 44 points from 27 matches after their yesterday’s goalless draw away to Royal Eagles at Harry Gwala Stadium.
Hot on their trail is Stellenbosch FC with 43 points, with Royal Eagles, AmaZulu and Witbank Spurs breathing heavily behind them on the third to the fifth positions with 41 points each while Mbombela United are also challenging the top three finish on the sixth position with 40 points.