Flames’ forgotten midfielder Robert Ng’ambi’s club Black Leopards on Saturday survived relegation from South Africa’s Premier Soccer League (PSL) after beating fourth-positioned Cape Town City 1-0 in their last fixture at Thohoyandou Stadium in Polokwane.
The 32-year-old, who was an unused substitute in the match, yesterday said he was delighted for surviving the chop.
Leopards finished 13th with 30 points from 30 games in the 16-team league, a point ahead of 14th positioned Baroka FC and three ahead of anchors Free State Stars.
“It was quite relieving that we have survived relegation,” he said.
Frank Gabadinho Mhango’s outfit Bidvest Wits settled for the third position on 54 points, five points behind eventual champions Mamelodi Sundowns, following a 1-0 triumph over Limbikani Mzava’s Lamontville Golden Arrows, which finished 10th with 36 points. Both Mhango and Mzava featured in the game.
Flames’ captain Mzava, who was the most consistent Malawian player in the PSL in the just-ended season after featuring in all Golden Arrows’ matches except when nursing an injury, bemoaned his team’s failure to finish within the top-eight brackets and qualify for MTN 8 Cup.
“I really wanted to play in the MTN 8 Cup, but the latest defeat has denied us that chance,” he said.
Coincidentally, the trio’s contracts are now due for expiry
The going proved tough for Flames’ midfielder Gerald Phiri Jnr in the second-tier National First Division (NFD) as his side Ajax Cape Town narrowly failed to make the grade for PSL play-offs after finishing fourth.
They tied on 51 points with third-placed Tshakhuma Tsha Madzovhandila, which will play in the play-offs against second-placed Royal Eagles (53 points), thanks to a better aggregate.
Stellenbosch FC got automatic qualification into the PSL as eventual NFD champions with 56 points.