Mpheni Home Defenders won the ABC Motsepe league in Limpopo after beating Dolphins 1-0 on Sunday, but the game was played under protest.
Nkosephayo Mavundla came off the bench to score the only goal of the day to help Mpheni Home Defenders win the ABC Motsepe league in Limpopo and represent the province in the national promotional playoffs to the Motsepe Foundation Championship.
The match between the stream A winners Mpheni and Dolphins started 11 minutes late as the latter were lodging a protest claiming their opponents were not the rightful champions of their stream.
Mpheni, who are based in Vhembe District finished top of stream A with 49 points and had an 11 point gap from their closest rivals Giyani Happy Boys, while Dolphins from Molemole finished top of stream B with 40 points and were separated by a sole point from the side that finished behind them in the stream Ngwape City Motors.
The match was delayed further in the second half when Dolphins wanted to make a substitution in the 60th minute.
The opposing bench protested to the introduction of Koena Thapola because his registration card was in black and white. The incident delayed the game by over 10 minutes and eventually the player came on in the 78th minute after authorities changed the card to colour.
Home Defenders chairman and coach Sydwell Phuravhathu was a happy man and he also down played the protests.
“I’m very excited. I can’t explain any emotions now because I’m too much excited and I’m happy for the boys,” Phuravhathu said after the game.
“They have been fighting all along since last season and this season to go to the national playoffs and I think this is our time. As I said a dream delayed is not a dream denied.
“This is our time to go to the Motsepe Foundation. I’ve written this on my status on Thursday that this is our year we are going to go through to the Motsepe foundation.
“During the game? During the game there was no protest. I think earlier on there was a protest that we are not the winners of stream A, which we didn’t sign because we said that one you can refer it to the office because we have been fixtured to play this game by the office.
“So it’s not a protest. They can complain that we are not a stream winners but its’ no longer our issue.
Meanwhile, the following five ABC Motsepe League winners have been confirmed Dondol Stars (Gauteng), Amavarara (Easter Cape), Mlambo Royals (Mpumalanga), Upington City (Northern Cape) and Orbit College (North West).
Young Bafana won the Western Cape stream but there is a protest over the alleged use of a player who was registered for another club in his local football association during the playoffs against Zizwe United.
Story by Lethabo Kganyago (@KganyagoLee).