local soccer 2.4.2018 12:15 pm

Highlands Park move a step closer to National First Division title

Tapuwa Kapini of Highlands Park (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

Tapuwa Kapini of Highlands Park (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

Highlands Park virtually secured the National First Division (NFD) championship with a 4-0 away win over Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila on Saturday. 

Meanwhile, bottom-of-the-log Mthatha Bucks failed to take advantage of Ubuntu Cape Town’s absence.

Sphiwe Mahlangu, Mothobi Mvala, Sabelo Nyembe and Peter Shalulile all scored as the Lions of the North crushed Tshakhuma at Thohoyandou Stadium on Saturday afternoon, taking them to a points tally which cannot be overhauled by any of their chasers.

The only reason Highlands have not been officially crowned NFD champions is because Real Kings (whose scheduled match against Ubuntu was pushed to Tuesday due to the latter’s participation in the Nedbank Cup) and Black Leopards can still match the leader’s points tally and perhaps edge them on goal difference.

But given that this scenario would only come about if Highlands lose all of their remaining five matches, Kings and Leopards win all of theirs, and there is a massive swing in the goal difference (Highlands +41, Kings +8, Leopards +16), it’s safe to say the Makhulong-based side will be playing in the Premiership later this year.

Other notable results saw Bucks lose 1-0 away to Witbank Spurs to move ever closer to relegation, Jomo Cosmos claimed a thumping 4-2 win at Richards Bay to claim third place, while Leopards are second after they beat Stellenbosch 3-1 on Sunday afternoon.

The NFD will continue with the catch-up match between Ubuntu and Real Kings on Tuesday, followed by a full set of fixtures next weekend, April 7 and 8.

NFD weekend results

Saturday, March 31 Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila 0-4 Highlands Park

Witbank Spurs 1-0 Mthatha Bucks

Richards Bay 2-4 Jomo Cosmos

Uthongathi FC 1-1 Super Eagles

Sunday, April 1 Black Leopards 3-1 Stellenbosch FC

Mbombela United 1-1 Cape Town All Stars

Royal Eagles 0-0 Pretoria University.

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