San­tos eye­ing sixth win as they climb NFD log

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT - MIKE DE BRUYN

UN­BEATEN San­tos take on na­tional First Di­vi­sion new­com­ers Baroka FC at the Old Peter Mok­aba Sta­dium in Polok­wane to­day.

In other matches in­volv­ing Cape teams, sec­ond- placed Chippa United wel­come in­form Wit­bank Spurs to the Philippi Sta­dium, while third­bot­tom FC Cape Town tackle ninth-placed Sivutsa Stars.

San­tos, who over the past sea­son and a third have only been beaten once in 27 league games, will be fan­cied to record a sixth win from 12 starts.

What a turn­around from last sea­son’s poor start to life in the NFD for the Peo­ple’s Team af­ter los­ing their top-flight sta­tus in 2011/12 and thus con­signed them­selves to the sec­ond tier.

San­tos ended the 2012/ 13 sea­son with a 13-10-5 record and se­cured a place in the sec­ond-tier pro­mo­tion/rel­e­ga­tion play-offs, where they failed to win a game.

This sea­son San­tos have made a strong start un­der new coach David No­toane and are in with a real chance of win­ning back their Pre­mier Soc­cer League sta­tus.

They are now the sole re­main­ing un­beaten side af­ter 10 rounds and hold third place on the 16-team standings.

No­toane is feel­ing pretty sat­is­fied about how things have panned out so far.

His pre-sea­son goal of be­ing within touch of the top two teams has been re­alised.

“We have set high stan­dards and we are achiev­ing what we set out to do,” No­toane said.

“At this stage, af­ter a stop­start cam­paign, we’re on 21 points, five be­hind our Cape ri­vals Mi­lano United and tied with Chippa.

“The points gap was re­duced by three af­ter we beat African War­riors 2- 0 and Mi­lano lost 1-0 away to Stars. That’s a man­age­able sit­u­a­tion Mi­lano Chippa San­tos Wit­bank Vasco United Baroka Leop­ards Sivutsa War­riors Ma­luti Roses Cos­mos Cape Town 11 Black­burn 11 Thanda RZ 11 PWD 11 8 2 11 6 3 11 5 6 11 5 3 11 5 3 11 4 4 11 4 3 11 3 5 11 3 5 10 4 1 11 3 4 11 2 5 10 2 5 2 3 2 2 1 2 L 1 2 0 3 3 3 4 3 3 5 4 4 3 6 7 8 F AP 18 4 26 18 10 21 10 3 21 11 10 18 9 8 18 21 12 16 9 12 15 18 15 14 10 10 14 12 14 13 13 18 13 10 11 11 7 9 11 9 17 9 8 16 8 7 21 5 for us with 19 games still to play.”

Mean­while, Chippa and Town will be out to make it back-to-back wins af­ter record­ing com­fort­able vic­to­ries on Wed­nes­day, Chippa down­ing Black Leop­ards 2-0 and Town beat­ing Thanda Royal Zulu 4-2.

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