2023/24 DStv Premiership
29 September-1 October 2023
Cape Town will see its first proper derby in five years when City and Spurs renew their rivalry, while Moroka Swallows have a chance to go third in the DStv Premiership
Steve Komphela will look to continue his impressive start at Moroka Swallows when AmaZulu visit the Dobsonville Stadium on Friday, September 29.
The Dube Birds (5th) beat Stellenbosch 2-0 at the Danie Craven Stadium on September 19 to make it three wins in their last four games under Komphela, who took over the reins in the off-season.
They trail Golden Arrows (2nd) by four points and will climb into the CAF places with a three-point haul over Usuthu, who are unbeaten in their last three matches after playing out to a 0-0 draw with Polokwane City on September 25 to remain seventh in the table.
AmaZulu head coach Pablo Franco felt a win was on the cards had they taken their chances against Rise And Shine, but was happy to come away with a fifth clean sheet in seven outings.
"When you are not winning the game, you cannot be fully happy, but we tried, especially the second part of the first half," the Spaniard told SuperSport TV.
"In the second half, we were superior, we were understanding the game much better. After the first half, we started creating chances, but we didn't convert. At least we were solid in defence, but we have to be content with the point, not happy though."
A massive three points will be up for grabs when Cape Town City and Cape Town Spurs lock horns at the DHL Stadium on Saturday, October 1.
Both teams find themselves at the wrong end of the season two months into the new campaign, with the Citizens winning just two of their opening seven matches and Spurs yet to pick up a single point from their six fixtures.
City arrested a four-game losing streak with a 0-0 draw against TS Galaxy in Mbombela on September 20, which took them two points clear of the relegation zone in 14th spot. The Urban Warriors' woes continued after a 2-1 reverse to Golden Arrows a day earlier made it six straight losses since gaining promotion via the playoffs.
Shaun Bartlett pointed to a lack of consistency and intensity from his players after they squandered the lead against Arrows to equal the record for the worst start to a season in the top tier of South African football.
"You've got to be consistent; you can't just have a couple of spells of three, four or five minutes, and then suddenly you have a lapse of concentration, and you allow them back in the game," Bartlett said.
"I think when we dropped our intensity, that's when they came back into the game, and they got more confidence. But yeah, it's very difficult to see a light at the end of the tunnel, besides the fact that obviously the number of games that's left."
Elsewhere, Royal AM will target a return to winning ways when they face newly-promoted Polokwane City at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium.
Thwihli Thwahla (10th) saw a three-match unbeaten run come to an end with a 1-0 loss to Sekhukhune United in Pietermaritzburg on September 20, while Rise And Shine (12th) are only a point adrift of them after the stalemate with AmaZulu halted a sequence of two successive defeats.
Meanwhile, TS Galaxy will look to get their season back on track when they welcome Richards Bay to the Mbombela Stadium on Sunday, October 2.
The Rockets (9th) are winless in their last three games, although the goalless draw with City ended a run of two consecutive losses after they picked up seven points from their opening three encounters.
The Natal Rich Boyz continue to languish in the danger zone following a 2-1 defeat to Chippa United on September 19, which left them two points shy of safety in 15th spot, having recorded their first win in 20 matches when they beat Swallows 1-0 four days earlier.
DStv Premiership matchday 8 fixtures:
Friday, September 29
19h30: Moroka Swallows v AmaZulu
Saturday, September 30
15h00: Cape Town City v Cape Town Spurs
17h30: Polokwane City v Royal AM
Sunday, October 1
15h30: TS Galaxy v Richards Bay
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