PROMOTIONAL PLAYOFFS - MATCH 1 PREVIEW

STELLENBOSCH FC vs BAROKA FC                              

The first of six matches in the Promotional Playoffs will be played at the Athlone stadium in Cape Town on Wednesday 31st May 2017 and pitch 3rd placed NFD side Stellenbosch FC against 15th placed PSL side Baroka FC.

Stellenbosch FC were known as Vasco da Gama when they won the coastal stream of the NFD in the 2009/10 season beat Black Leopards in the Playoffs to earn promotion to the PSL. That promotion only lasted one season as Vasco finished 15th in the PSL and were again involved in the Playoffs. Once again their opponents were Leopards and Vasco lost 2 – 4 and were relegated back to the NFD. Lidoda Duvha had proved to be a bit of a bogey side in 2010/11 to Vasco as they also beat the Cape side in the Nedbank Cup. Vasco da Gama are no more having changed their name to Stellenbosch FC and they have another chance to make the big time over the next month.

Only formed in 2007, Baroka have flattered their short history with some remarkable results. Winners of 2010/11 SAFA Division 2, Baroka also beat Moroka Swallows and Kaizer Chiefs in the Nedbank Cup that season before losing to Black Leopards on penalties in the semi-finals. Baroka finished behind Sivutsa Stars (now Royal Eagles) in the Inland Stream of the SAFA Playoffs. Baroka won the SAFA 2nd division title in the 2011/12 season and again in 2012/13. This time they won the SAFA Playoffs and were promoted to the NFD. After finishing 4th in the debut season and 9th in 2014/15, Baroka won the NFD title in the 2015/16 and were promoted to the PSL. They also beat three PSL sides (Chippa United, Golden Arrows and Polokwane City) in the Nedbank Cup on the way to a semifinal loss to Supersport Uinited. Their 15th place finish means that they will compete against Stellenbosch FC and provincial rivals Black Leopards for their place in the top flight.