Ryan Moon of Kaizer Chiefs challenged by Thulani Hlatshwayo of Bidvest Wits during the Absa Premiership 2016/17 match between Kaizer Chiefs and Bidvest Wits at the FNB Stadium, Johannesburg South Africa on 27 May 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
Saturday May 27, 2017. 20:00
AfricanFootball wraps up the final day’s action in the 2016/17 Absa Premiership season, which saw Highlands Park suffer direct relegation from the top flight, while Baroka FC will participate in the playoffs.
Bidvest Wits were given the championship trophy as winners of the league, though their wonderful campaign ended on something of a low note as they were beaten 1-0 by Kaizer Chiefs at FNB Stadium. Nonetheless, the defeat didn’t dampen the deserved celebrations for coach Gavin Hunt and his side.
With the Clever Boys having secured the title earlier in the month, the interest in this final round of matches was focused on the relegation battle. Baroka FC came into their game against Ajax Cape Town placed at the bottom of the log, but a 1-0 win over the Urban Warriors thanks to a goal from Letladi Madubanya lifted them to second-last.
Instead, it was Highlands Park who finished bottom and suffered direct relegation to the second tier. The Lions of the North held Mamelodi Sundowns 2-2 at Makhulong Stadium (thanks to a last-gaps goal from Mothobi Mvala), but Baroka’s unexpected victory did them in.
The Limpopo side’s win also affected the shape of the top eight finishers (who will play in next season’s MTN8), as Ajax dropped out and Golden Arrows claimed eighth place at their expense thanks to a 2-1 win over Orlando Pirates in Durban.
Another game in KwaZulu-Natal saw Maritzburg United secure seventh place with a 1-1 draw against Bloemfontein Celtic, who survived the potential threat of relegation - as did Free State Stars and Chippa United, following their goalless stalemate in Bethlehem.
Polokwane City finished a club-record sixth and finished off a fine campaign in great style as they defeated Cape Town City 4-2 at the old Peter Mokaba Stadium, while Stuart Baxter’s final league game in charge of SuperSport United was a 1-0 loss against Platinum Stars.
The 2016/17 top flight season will wrap up with the relegation/promotion playoffs featuring Baroka, Black Leopards and Stellenbosch FC, as well as the Nedbank Cup final in just under a month’s time between SuperSport and Pirates.
Absa Premiership Round 30 results:
Saturday, 27 May 2017
SuperSport United 0-1 Platinum Stars
Polokwane City 4-2 Cape Town City
Highlands Park 2-2 Mamelodi Sundowns
Ajax Cape Town 0-1 Baroka FC
Maritzburg United 1-1 Bloemfontein Celtic
Free State Stars 0-0 Chippa United
Kaizer Chiefs 1-0 Bidvest Wits
Golden Arrows 2-1 Orlando Pirates