DAY three of the SAFA Second Division National play-offs yesterday ended in a thrilling affair at both the Makhulong and Mehlareng Stadiums in Tembisa with Vardos FC and Mbombela
United winning their group stage encounters respectively.
Vardos FC walloped Amajuba United 3-1 in a highly contested match at the Makhulong Stadium.
Vardos, the club owned by football veteran administrator, Sinky “Twalaza” Mnisi, started positively with several good attempts at goal and were eventually rewarded when Sipho Moeti made it through the Amajuba defence to give them an early lead 12 minutes into the game.
Amajuba fought back relentlessly looking for their equalizer but were denied by Vardos keeper. The hosts went into the break with a 1-0 lead but Amajuba did not lose hope as they came back from the break a different side, searching for the equaliser and were finally rewarded for their relentless efforts to cancel the deficit.
With the home crowd routing fervently behind Vardos, the electrifying atmosphere clearly gave the hosts a much needed boost to get through the United defence. Collen Zimba broke the deadlock to put Amajuba under pressure once again as they went in search their second goal.
Shortly before the 90th minute, a Vardos forward was fouled on the edge of the box and a free-kick was awarded just outside the 18 area.
The veteran, Zimba who first made the name for himself back in 2001 when he turned up in the colours of the defunct Thembisa Classic has in the ’s right-footed shot with the keeper going the opposite direction to give Vardos a 3-1 lead with his fourth goal of the tournament. Vardos were clearly on track for victory and they held on to thump Amajuba United.
Elsewhere, Mbombela United downed Mthatha Bucks 1-0 in a Group A encounter played at the Mehlareng Stadium.
The fourth day of the SAFA Second Division play-offs today will see four teams battle it out for promotion to the National First Division at both the Makhulong and Mehlareng Stadiums in Thembisa.
Vardos FC take on Polokwane City Rovers at 1pm at Makhulong while the Amajuba United and Maluti FET College encounter will be played simultaneously at the Mehlareng Stadium.
Baroka take on Young Stars in their final group stage fixture to be played at the Mehlareng Stadium (3pm kick-off) while Cape Town All Stars go up against Mthatha Bucks at the Makhulong Stadium.