Bees skating on thin ice in playoffs

Eastern Cape Bees will need a miracle if they are to gain promotion to the National First Division when the ABC Motsepe playoffs group stages are completed today.

TRICKY SITUATION: EC Bees won 8-1 against Mainstay United in their ABC Motsepe playoffs game at Sisa Dukashe Stadium yesterday. Bees will face Zizwe United today Picture: SIBONGILE NGALWA

Even if Bees win against Western Cape champions Zizwe United at Sisa Dukashe Stadium in Mdantsane they will hope that Mainstay United of the Northern Cape cause an upset by beating Uthongathi today.

A Mainstay victory is highly unlikely as they have conceded 13 goals in the two games they have played. They were thumped 5-0 by Zizwe on Wednesday before being at the receiving end of a 8-1 thrashing at the hands of Bees yesterday.

Uthongathi edged Zizwe 1-0 to be the only unbeaten side in the group. They beat Bees by the same margin on Wednesday.

Uthongathi will probably sleep with champagne on ice as they are expected to easily dispatch Mainstay.

Speaking to journalists after yesterday’s victory, Bees coach Chippa Njedu admitted their fate was no longer in their hands.

“Our promotion is dependent on the teams playing [Zizwe and Uthongathi, that was before the clash ended with Uthongathi winning 1-0] but we are hoping Zizwe wins since we will play and beat them tomorrow then we will go to goal difference.

“My boys have come right now unlike when we started the tournament where everyone was scared of making mistakes,” he said.

“I told the players that the tournament was not yet over and that we should score many goals against Mainstay and pray that Zizwe wins then we beat Zizwe.”

Basing his analysis on the 13 goals that Mainstay conceded in the first two games, Njedu said Uthongathi are expected to win today.

“If Zizwe doesn’t win that will be a problem because Uthongathi will have six points and has to play against Mainstay.

“Mainstay has been leaking in goals so that will make things difficult for us,” he said.

Zizwe coach Julius Dube threw in the towel as he admitted their quest for promotion was over.

“The mandate was to gain promotion but we have failed. I believe we have failed because the team that they [Uthongathi] are going to play against [Mainstay] is the weakest in the group, so I believe they’re through,” he said.

“We are expecting Bees to come at us and entertain their fans but we need to make sure that we win our final match so that if God does something else, then maybe we have a chance to go through.”

Uthongathi coach Ronnie Gabriel heaped praise on his charges.

“We have to be very careful going into our last game because it’s going to be a tricky game,” he said.

While everyone has already written Mainstay off expecting Uthongathi to walk all over the Northern Cape champions today, coach Galiel Pelwan promised a much improved showing.

“We won’t do anyone favours,” he said.

Today’s fixtures are:

The Dolphins v Maccabi (12.30pm) BCM Stadium;

Buya Msuthu v Super Eagles (12.30pm) Sisa Dukashe Stadium;

Uthongathi v Mainstay (3pm) BCM Stadium; and

EC Bees v Zizwe United (3pm) Sisa Dukashe Stadium.