In the end, a single goal was the difference between jubilation and heartbreak when local football association (LFA) teams met to decide which would be promoted into the regional league next season.
The teams were at the Dumpy Adams Sports Complex for this year’s Chris Hani regional league stream B playoffs. Nine zones were competing for the single promotional spot.
The teams were, Sport Club Vergenoeg from Ilinge, 12 Aces – Molteno, King Vultures – Dongwe in group A. Mcheula United- McBride, Fast Eleven- Sterkstroom, Golden Chiefs – Ntafa in group B. The final group was Phoenix Birds- Komani, Madrid FC- Ezibeleni and Saints from Machibini.
The tournament was held over two days and only group leaders were selected to return on Sunday for the final showdown. Phoenix Birds, 12 Aces and Mcheula United were the log leaders and a round-robin would determine which team would go into the regional league.
The first match between 12 Aces and Mcheula United was even-stevens,with both teams netting three goals and in the end settling for a tie. Next, it was Mcheula against the Birds and the McBright team could not muster a win, yet again settling for a 2-2 draw on two points after the completion of their matches.
So it was down to the Birds and 12 Aces, with the winner to take all the spoils. A second-half goal 10 minutes from time was the difference consigning the Komani team, Phoenix Birds, back to the LFA league.
The Aces coach, Thusile Magwebu, called the achievement a team effort. “The tournament was a very heavy burden on me. It was only through the dedication and perseverance of this team that we managed to get this far. I am thankful to them, the supporters and everyone on the technical staff. Today is the realisation of a dream we have long held and to finally attain it is a dream come true.”