By Rethabile Nyelele and Aimee Myburgh
Images from SAFA official Facebook page
The Gauteng-based football club MM Platinum were crowned national champions on 19 June after winning 1-0 against Magesi FC from Limpopo. The much awaited game took place at Olen Park Stadium in Potchefstroom, North West, and was of extreme importance to both teams considering the prize money of R1.25 million on the line.
“We knew what was at stake coming into the game with the prize money, besides already gaining promotion on winning the semifinals,” says Marcel Jonosky, defensive midfielder of MM Platinum. They played at a slow tempo in the first half but increased their intensity in the second half.
This intensity allowed them to score their winning goal in the 74th minute of the game thanks to their substitute Sipho Mahlangu. “We worked hard throughout the season and it showed, we got the results we wanted so I’m glad,” adds Jonosky.
MM Platinum becomes the second team from Gauteng to gain automatic promotion to Glad Africa Championship after JDR Stars, which was granted theirs in 2019. They defeated Magesi FC, bagged a prize of R600 000 as runner ups, and will join the other five Limpopo teams in the Glad Africa Championships next season.
Spear of the Nation’s player Nala Ngcobo won top goal scorer of the tournament. Former University of Johannesburg and MM Platinum current player Lesego Sebetlela walked away with player of the tournament. Both received R100 000.
ABC Motsepe League playoffs
The ABC Motsepe League is made up of 16 provincial division teams. The winners from the division qualify for the promotional playoffs, which kicked off with nine teams on 14 June 2022 at North West University. The nine teams competed for the final prize of R1.25 million and an entry to the second tier of South African football, the Glad Africa Championships.
Three group stage games played each day leading to the final lap. On 16 June, it was the last round of group stages where the semifinalists were confirmed. The hosts of the playoffs – NWU, MM Platinum, Magesi FC and Spear of the Nation – were the last four teams standing. With tough grind, MM Platinum and Magesi FC managed to advance to the finals which took place on 19 June 2022. However, both teams knew that their next win was not guaranteed.
“The players are not in a good space. I do not want them to participate in anything soccer related for a brief time,” says Vuyo Sambo, soccer manager at NWU after they suffered a loss of 2-1 to Magesi F.C. in the semifinals.