PSL bottom dwellers Gallants flying high in Africa’s Confed Cup

Ranga Chivaviro (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)
  • Marumo Gallants are in trouble as they find themselves dead last at the bottom of the DStv Premiership standings.
  • However, they topped their CAF Confederation Cup group and are in Wednesday’s quarter-final draw.
  • Head coach Raymond Mdaka says advancing beyond the group stages was not easy, even though it may have looked that way.

Marumo Gallants find themselves in a precarious, yet fascinating position. After 24 DStv Premiership matches, the club is anchored to the bottom of the log and has seven matches remaining to save their top-flight status.

Contrary to their domestic form, Gallants are sizzling in the CAF Confederation Cup and are seeded for Wednesday’s quarter-final draw in Africa’s second-tier club competition.

The Limpopo side has accumulated 20 points after recording three victories, eleven draws and nine defeats from 23 matches in the PSL.

And the tail-end of their league schedule does not look great either with matches against PSL giants Kaizer Chiefs, SuperSport United and Mamelodi Sundowns included in their run to the end of the season.

At the same time, Gallants will also be embroiled in a nail-biting relegation battle with fellow strugglers Maritzburg United (on 24 league points), Swallows (27), Chippa United (26) and AmaZulu (28).

Gallants remaining league fixtures:

Royal AM (5 April), Kaizer Chiefs (8 April), Chippa United (12 April), SuperSport United (18 April), Maritzburg United (3 May), Mamelodi Sundowns (13 May) and Swallows (20 May).

*Note: Dates may change due to Gallants involvement in the Confederation Cup

Meanwhile, on the continental front, having already qualified for the quarter-finals, Sunday’s come-from-behind 3-2 win against Congolese club Saint Eloi Lupopo at Dobsonville Stadium ensured that Gallants finished top of Group A on 12 points, one point ahead USM Alger of Algeria.

“One thing that we wanted, we wanted to finish at the top as much as we knew it wouldn’t be easy,” said head coach Raymond Mdaka

“I think we did a very good job, and we’ll see what comes next. Once you get into a competition, you cannot drop it on the way. You just have to go throughout.

“And we’re expecting the challenges like the ones that we had. It was not an easy one. People might take it like we just went through. No, it wasn’t easy.

“But, we’ll take each game as it comes, whoever we will be playing against. It’s fine. We’ll take it as it comes.”

Wednesday’s draw will see Gallants seeded with all the group winners: ASEC (Ivory Coast, Group B), AS FAR (Morocco, Group C) and Young Africans (Tanzania, Group D).

Meanwhile, in the runners-up pot, Gallants will play one of three teams: Rivers United (Nigeria, Group B), Pyramids (Egypt, Group C) and Monastir (Tunisia, Group D).

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