NFD 2017/18 - WEEK 15 WRAP

HIGHLANDS PARK 0 CT ALL STARS 0

Highlands Park missed an opportunity to end the year four points clear of the chasing pack when they were held goalless in Tembisa by All Stars. The draw allows Cosmos to reduce the gap at the top of the NFD standings to just 2 points after Ezenkhosi won on Sunday. The point for the Cape side lifts them 1 spot up the log to 9th. The point for Highlands Park extends their unbeaten run to 11 matches in league and cup.

RICHARDS BAY 2 BLACK LEOPARDS 1

Richards Bay coach Jean Losciuto put one over his former employer as Richards Bay won for the first time in 10 matches in the NFD, scoring for the first time in 6 outings. The KZN imposed the first NFD loss on Ivan Minnaert, the new coach of Leopards. It’s the first time this season that Richards Bay have won back to back matches after beating Spurs in the Nedbank Cup qualifiers in midweek. Lidoda Duvha haven’t won in four outings if you include their 0 – 3 loss to Super Eagles in the cup. The Limpopo side drop to 10th on the log.           

MBOMBELA UNITED FC 0 UTHONGATHI FC 0

Both Mbombela and Uthongathi lost in the Nedbank Cup in midweek and neither could find the net on Saturday in the league. It all means that the home side will end the year in 5th place, 6 points behind logleaders Highlands, while Uthongathi remain 11th for another week. The KZN side have posted only one win in their last 8 NFD appearances. This was the first meeting between the two sides.

WITBANK SPURS 3 STELLENBOSCH FC 1

Spurs returned to winning ways on Saturday after their loss in the Nedbank Cup in midweek when they upset title hopefuls Stellenbosch FC in Witbank. The Cape side had come off a convincing 3 – 0 win over Mbombela, but struggled against a fired up home side. The win for Spurs was their first in 6 outings in the NFD. Spurs have never lost to the Cape side in 7 meetings in Witbank, posting 4 wins and 3 draws and extend their unbeaten record in the NFD to 8 straight matches. The Cape side are doing better at home than on the road and their last win away from home came in late September.

TSHAKHUMA TSHA MADZIHANDILA 3 SUPER EAGLES 3

TTM FC held their nerve against a hard fighting Eagles side to end the year in the top half of the table. The visiting side from the Free State came pretty close to winning on the road for the first time this season, but it was not to be as Eagles will finish 2017 in 12th position. It was a show of character by TTM FC who were not only thrashed 5 – 1 by Kings last weekend, but also lost in the Nedbank Cup in midweek. However, despite recent results the Limpopo side have only lost once at home all season. This was the first meeting between the two sides.

UNIVERSITY of PRETORIA 2 REAL KINGS 3

After being humbled 3 – 0 by Royal Eagles in Nedbank Cup Qualification in midweek, Tuks again came unstuck on Saturday. This time against a determined and in-form Real Kings outfit. Although Tuks stay in the top 3, there must be some concern about losing their last two home matches. The win for the KZN side elevates Kings to their highest position all season – 4th.        

ROYAL EAGLES 4 UBUNTU CT FC 2

Royal Eagles followed up on their 3 – 0 win over Tuks in the Nedbank Cup in midweek, by posting their first NFD win in 8 outings over a struggling Ubuntu on Saturday. The loss for the Cape side plunges Ubuntu back down to the bottom of the table where they will spend their 9th week in total. Eagles climb to 13th. So far the return of Kostadin Papic to Harry Gwala has paid dividends. There is still work to be done though.

JOMO COSMOS 2 MTHATHA BUCKS 1

Cosmos were made to fight for their success on Sunday against a tough Mthatha Bucks side who suddenly find themselves in the relegation zone. The win for the home side puts Cosmos just 2 points behind logleaders Highlands Park at the halfway mark of the season. Cosmos have still never lost to Bucks, while the Eastern Cape side have now not won in 7 league outings, and have dropped from 5th to 15th in the space of 8 matches.