9 June 2017 – KwaZulu-Natal’s Uthongathi and Super Eagles of Free State will play their football in the National First Division (NFD) in the 2017/2018 season following promotion from the ABC Motsepe League.

After five days of highly competitive back-to-back football action, both sides acquired their new status as they finished top of their respective groups in the ABC Motsepe National Play-Offs underway in East London.

Eagles were the first to book their place in the second tier of South Africa football after toppling Acornbush from pole position on the last day of the group matches with a 3-1 victory over Buya Msuthu in Group A.

The result meant the Free State side had 10 points in the bag – equal with Acornbush, but Eagles qualified by virtue of a better goal difference.

Eagles coach, Tshegofatso Mashego, sang the praises of his charges.

“Playing in such competitions requires you to be very smart and highly tactical. We didn’t play fancy football even though we know how to. Our objective was plain and simple – score as much as possible and try not to concede and I think we did that quite well,” said an elated Mashego.

“We got to the Promised Land because of a better goal difference, in fact it was just one goal and it was the one that mattered. I am so excited, and I am also happy for my boys, they played like champions throughout the tournament. It’s thanks to them we achieved our goal, but we still have a job to do on Sunday in the final so we will celebrate thoroughly afterwards.”

Buya Msuthu finished third with four points, followed by Maccabi FC on two and The Dolphins managed only point – the latter two played to a 1-1 draw in their final match of the competition.

In Group B, Uthongathi had to dig deep to defeat a stubborn Mainstay United 3-2 and get to nine points, which was enough to see them in the NFD.

Their nearest rival, EC Bees, finished second on four points after sharing the spoils in a 1-1 draw against Zizwe United who also accumulated the same number of points, but Bees have a superior goal difference.

Mainstay United were the whipping boys of the group and it is no surprise that they finished bottom of the log with no points after three losses, conceding 16 goals in the process.

Super Eagles and Uthongathi will battle it out for the crown of 2016/2017 ABC Motsepe League Champions when the two sides meet in the final on Sunday, 11 June at Buffalo City Stadium.

Kick-off is at 15h00.

ABC Motsepe National Play Offs Day 5 Results:

The Dolphins         1-1           Maccabi

Super Eagles         3-1           Buya Msuthu

Uthongathi            3-2           Mainstay United

Zizwe United        1-1           EC Bees


Super Eagles road to the final:

Super Eagles         0-0           Acornbush

Maccabi                 1-2           Super Eagles

The Dolphins         1-3           Super Eagles

Super Eagles        3-1           Buya Msuthu

Uthongathi Road to the final:

EC Bees              0-1           Uthongathi

Zizwe United       0-1           Uthongathi

Uthongathi          3-2           Mainstay United


ABC Motsepe Day 5 Stats (Click here)