Cape Town All Stars have become the second ABC Motsepe League outfit to win promotion to the National First Division after their nearest Group A rivals, Apollo XI FC, could only manage a goalless draw against the Eastern Cape’s Angavu Stars.
It was a nerve wracking encounter at Durban’s King Zwelithini Stadium which could have gone either way but in the end a point for the Mpumalanga champions was insufficient for them to overhaul the team from the Mother City.
This result means All Stars and Group B winners, Highlands Park, come face to face in Sunday’s Final at the same venue both hoping to grab the R1-million on offer, which the Motsepe Foundation has for the very first time, put up as prize money.
All Stars coach Dylan Dean was so nervous that he stayed in the hotel with his team but after the game he spoke proudly about what his charges have achieved and praised the officials.
“I don’t like singling out anybody, they all contributed,” Dean told Soccer-Laduma. “We’re all positive enjoying celebrating the moment but it’s going to be tough for us in the NFD with about three weeks before we start. We’ve treated this tournament as our pre-season, and are looking forward to playing in all those Cape derbies.
“I must say there were no dodgy decisions with regards to refereeing. I thought they were very, very good so our football is maybe going in the right direction.”
Regarding the big monetary prize for the Final, Dean has promised a good game.
“Not once have we talked about the R1-million but tomorrow’s a different ball game where there’s money on the table so you can expect a good game from us,” he concluded.
In the other Group A encounter, the North West’s Shining Stars whacked the Free State’s Sibanye Golden Stars 7-2.
Over the past eight years or so, both the Free State and Western Cape have been at the forefront with regards to promotion from the third tier but Golden Stars finished rock bottom.