by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG – WHOEVER, between Kazier Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns, clinches South Africa’s Absa Premiership looks likely to win it by the nose.
The race is set for its tightest finish in a decade as the top two teams go to the final game level on points.
Chiefs are top only on goal difference ahead of Sundowns, the defending champions, both sides with 56 points.
On Wednesday, Chiefs battled past a nine-men Chippa United 1-0. Sundowns comfortably defeated bottom-placed Polokwane City 3-0.
This leaves Chiefs with a goal difference of 21 to the defending champions’ 18.
The last time the Premiership was this tight was in 2010/11 when Orlando Pirates finished ahead of Ajax Cape Town, on goal difference.
Both sides had accumulated 60 points but Pirates prevailed with a goal difference of 18 to Ajax’s 14.
Chiefs will play Baroka in their final match that kicks off simultaneously (18h00) with a Sundowns-Black Leopards clash on Saturday.
The other contender before Wednesday’s games, Bidvest Wits, bowed out of contention with a 1-0 loss to Leopards.
At the bottom of the 16-team log, Polokwane are doomed.
Following their defeat to Sundowns, the Limpopo side cannot finish higher than 15th. This means the playoff berth is partly settled.
Nonetheless, it is not confirmed which side will take it between Polokwane and one of AmaZulu (29 points), Baroka (28), Leopards (29) and Chippa (31).
The team to be relegated will emerge from these sides. The side finishing 15th contests the playoff against the teams that finished second and third in the just-concluded first division.
Saturday will mark the last campaign to be sponsored by Absa, the financial institution.
– CAJ News