Highlands Park have won automatic promotion
Posted: 7 April 2018 Time: 16:58
Highlands Park have won promotion to the PSL with four games to spare in the National First Division.
Relegated from the top flight last season, Highlands secured promotion with an emphatic 5-1 victory over University of Pretoria at Makhulong Stadium this afternoon. The goals came from Sphiwe Mahlangu, Moeketsi Sekola, Lindokuhle Mbatha, the side's top scorer Peter Shalulile and lanky defender Vukile Mngqibisa.
After leaving his role as assistant coach of Bafana Bafana, Owen da Gama went on to take the head coaching job at Highlands and he has done a great job with Allan Freese, the former head coach at the club, as his assistant.
With his experience of having coached Silver Stars [now Platinum Stars] to promotion in the early 2000s, Da Gama made sure that Highlands were a class above the rest in the First Division.
Highlands, who will only receive the First Division trophy on the final day of the season next month, have been ruthless in front of goals this season, scoring 56 goals in 26 matches and they have only conceded 11 times. Looking at how balanced a team they are both in attack and defence, Da Gama’s men deserved to win promotion.
Their victory over Tuks was their seventh on the trot and the 18th of the campaign, while they've only been on the losing side three times.
Players such as Mothobi Mvala, Shalulile, Mbatha and Moeketsi Sekola, who joined the club in January after a loan spell at Chippa United in the first half of the season, have played a key role in the side’s success this season.
Winning promotion now means that Highlands will have a lot of time to prepare for their campaign in the top flight next season. They can also identify which areas they want to strengthen and start speaking to the players they would like to add to a squads that already has tons of experience.
After getting relegated from the top flight last season, they would not want to see themselves going down to the second tier again.
Now the battle will be position two and three, which guarantee clubs a spot in the promotion/relegation play-offs at the end of the season. All of Black Leopards, Jomo Cosmos, Real Kings, Witbank Spurs and Tshakuma Tsha Madzivhandila have a chance to qualify for the play-offs.