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MFC: Marumo Gallants face potential back-to-back relegations as race for promotion heats up

Marumo Gallants’ pitiful fall from grace appears to be continuing as the former Nedbank Cup champions and Caf Confederation Cup semi-finalists face the possibility of back-to-back relegation.

Edgar Manaka of Marumo Gallants FC challenges Mxolisi Julius Kunene of Platinum City Rovers during the Nedbank Cup 2023/24 match between Platinum City Rovers v Marumo Gallants FC at Isak Steyl Stadium
Image: Nokwanda Zondi/BackpagePix

Marumo Gallants’ pitiful fall from grace appears to be continuing as the former Nedbank Cup champions and Caf Confederation Cup semi-finalists face the possibility of back-to-back relegations.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

Gallants were relegated from the DStv Premiership last season and now they find themselves at the foot of the Motsepe Foundation Championship (MFC) table with seven matches to play.

The nomadic club had hoped to make a swift return to the big league but found the going rather tougher in the lower division than they envisaged.

Many will recall that Gallants were competing in the top tier under the former guise of Bidvest Wits who sold their status to Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM) FC back in 2020.

TTM ran into financial difficulties less than a year after acquiring Wits’ status and were forced to sell to Limpopo businessman Abram Sello, who rebranded the club name to Gallants in 2021.

The club did well under Sello as they won the Nedbank Cup in 2021 and reached the Caf Confederation Cup semi-finals last season, which was tarnished by relegation.

Failure to avoid the chop in the MFC will see the club moving into amateur ranks in the ABC Motsepe League.

Bahlabane ba Ntwa slipped to the bottom of the MFC log table after they suffered a 1-0 defeat to JDR Stars at home on Sunday.

Gallants have managed a disappointing 20 points from 23 outings, and they will hope coach Mpho Maleka has some tricks in his bag to help them.

However, they still have a chance to avoid the axe as they are separated by just three points from Platinum City and Milford FC.

Pretoria Callies, NB La Masia, and Venda Football Academy are still deep in the relegation mix.

On the other end of the table, things are interesting in the race for promotion to the Premiership with top teams being separated by just a single point.

Log leaders Magesi FC are 45 points after 23 matches while the University of Pretoria are second with 44 points.

Champions of the second tier achieve automatic promotion to the top tier while runners-up and third-place finishers get a second bite in promotion/relegation playoffs.

The Limpopo-based Magesi have won all their last seven matches and remain unbeaten in their previous nine outings.

The second-placed AmaTuks have also enjoyed a good run since their last defeat to Upington City at the beginning of November.

They have played 11 matches without a loss, recording seven victories and four draws.

Third-place Orbit College and Baroka FC in the third spot are still in the race for automatic promotion, but they need to work twice as hard in the remaining matches.

Orbit are eight points behind Magesi and Baroka are 10 points adrift.

Hungry Lions and JDR are also not far off the mark, as they are 11 points behind.

The MFC is on a short break this week due to the Nedbank Cup action scheduled for this weekend.

AmaTuks are the only team from the division in the tournament’s quarter-final and they will battle their powerful neighbours Mamelodi Sundowns at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Friday at 19:00.

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