Stellenbosch, Pirates continue race for Champions League

Stellenbosch, Pirates continue race for Champions League
Thembinkosi Lorch of Orlando Pirates challenged bye Jayden Adams of Stellenbosch FC during the DStv Premiership 2023/24 match between Orlando Pirates and Stellenbosch FC at Orlando Stadium in Soweto on the 29 December 2023 © Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Friday May 17, 2024. 11:00

The race to finish in second place and qualify for next season’s CAF Champions League will be the focus when South Africa’s DStv Premiership stages its penultimate round of matches on Saturday 18 May.

Stellenbosch FC, who currently occupy second place and hold a one point lead over Orlando Pirates, have a tough task ahead of them, as they host champions Mamelodi Sundowns – with the Tshwane giants motivated to go through the entire league season unbeaten and needing just one more win to eclipse the PSL points record (71) for a 30-game season.

The Buccaneers also have a tricky fixture, as they face TS Galaxy away from home at the Mbombela Stadium, but coach Jose Riveiro is determined that they will keep their eyes on the prize: a place in next season’s CAF Champions League.

“We played a final and one final and we lost one final, and we have another final this weekend in Mbombela [against TS Galaxy] and then we have another final with SuperSport United [on May 25, the final day of the league season],” said Riveiro.

“We are playing for something really important for our club, and that is why we have to give our all, whether we are playing good or not.”

The Spanish tactician added, “We want to be in the Champions League next season and right now Stellenbosch are in that position and we want to get there.

“To do that, we have to run an extra mile, all of us. The technical team, the players, everybody in the team and that is the only way to make it possible.”

Down at the bottom of the log, Cape Town Spurs (who will be away to Golden Arrows) have officially been relegated, but the team which enters the relegation playoffs against the second and third place finishers from the Motsepe Foundation Championship is yet to be decided.

Currently Richards Bay are on course to enter the playoffs, but they are just two points behind Royal AM and in outstanding form: four wins from their last six league matches, including a triumph over Pirates last weekend.

The Natal Rich Boyz will aim to defeat Cape Town City away from home and hope that Thwihli Thwahla (who have suffered five straight losses) stumble at home to Chippa United.

Another important match is Kaizer Chiefs hosting Polokwane City, with the Limpopo visitors hoping to claim a win and leapfrog the Soweto giants (who have just one win from their last nine league matches) into the top eight.

DStv Premiership weekend fixtures

Times CAT

Saturday 18 May – all matches kick-off at 15:00 (3pm)

Cape Town City v Richards Bay

Royal AM v Chippa United

Sekhukhune United v AmaZulu FC

TS Galaxy v Orlando Pirates

Golden Arrows v Cape Town Spurs

Stellenbosch FC v Mamelodi Sundowns

Kaizer Chiefs v Polokwane City

SuperSport United v Moroka Swallows

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