Let the games be­gin again

CityPress - - Sport - TI­MOTHY MOLOBI ti­mothy@city­press.co.za

Well, at long last the wait is over as the lo­cal foot­ball league is set to re­sume on Tues­day.

Lo­cals have been starved for ac­tion as a re­sult of the on­go­ing Africa Cup of Na­tions, but the bore­dom will be a thing of the past as the teams go on a fi­nal home stretch that is the sec­ond round of the league pro­gramme.

If any­thing, the sec­ond round means there won’t be any room for er­ror as clubs ei­ther vie for top spots or to sur­vive the chop.

There are al­ready some mouth-wa­ter­ing clashes to look for­ward to. With­out a doubt, the game most sup­port­ers are an­tic­i­pat­ing is on Satur­day when de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons Mamelodi Sun­downs wel­come Orlando Pi­rates at Lof­tus.

This is the first clash of the sea­son be­tween these two sides and the game should give an in­di­ca­tion of how pre­pared the sides are for the home stretch.

But be­fore this clash, the two have some tricky fix­tures to ne­go­ti­ate on Wed­nes­day evening.

Sun­downs are away at Bloem­fontein Celtic and Pi­rates are also on the road to Plat­inum Stars.

With fix­tures go­ing to come thick and fast for Sun­downs as they are way be­hind sched­ule, this will test Pitso Mosi­mane’s play­ers’ re­solve.

It is at the bot­tom end of the log where clubs will be fight­ing for sur­vival. The sec­ond half of the sea­son should be as much en­ter­tain­ing as de­mand­ing, if not more.

The con­test is so tight that any side could still be dragged into the rel­e­ga­tion dog­fight as only a few points sep­a­rate teams.

For­tu­nately, the lengthy Christ­mas break com­bined with the Afcon re­cess have given clubs a chance to re­in­force their squads as they pre­pare for the sec­ond-half on­slaught.

Log lead­ers Su­perS­port United have re­united Mandla Masango with his for­mer Kaizer Chiefs coach Stu­art Bax­ter as they look to strengthen the side ahead of the gru­elling sec­ond half.

Masango joined a grow­ing long list of for­mer Chiefs play­ers at United which in­clude Mor­gan Gould, Reneilwe Let­sholonyane, Kee­gan Ritchie, Tefu Mashamaite and Reyaad Pi­eterse.

In the process, United re­leased To­golese in­ter­na­tional Dové Womé to Orlando Pi­rates on loan un­til the end of the sea­son.

After ex­pe­ri­enc­ing mixed for­tunes in


ROCK James Ok­wu­osa will sta­bilise the Pi­rates de­fence


RE­UNITED Stu­art Bax­ter and Mandla Masango have re­united at Su­perS­port United

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