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Preview: Santos vs. Thanda Royal Zulu
Friday 22nd June 2012
Engen Santos is set to face Thanda Royal Zulu on the return leg of the Promotional Playoffs on Saturday the 23rd June 2012, exactly a month to the day of their first leg encounter.

The two teams first met on May 23rd in Richards Bay in Kwa-Zulu Natal where the Capetonians recorded a crucial a 1-0 victory away. Thanda’s next fixture ended in a 1-1 draw with Chippa United last Saturday, leaving them with just one point after two games.

For Santos though, the glass is half full, as they sit on the top of the table. They remain unbeaten in the mini league and have also managed to keep a clean sheet. However Nooij’s men will need more than a good defensive record at this stage. A win against the Kwa-Zulu Natal-based First division outfit would bring them closer to their objective and put an end to Amabhubesi’s aspirations of returning to the Premier division.

The Lions are sitting at the bottom while the Chilli boys are in the middle, two points behind the log leaders.

There seems to be no significant difference separating the Premier League side from the First division sides on the pitch. The People’s Team could only manage a goalless draw against the National First Division, Cape-side Chippa United on Wednesday.

Santos is known for giving Soweto giants nightmares. The second half of the 2011/2012 Season saw the double treble champions, Orlando Pirates suffer a 3-0 thrashing and the former back-to-back league champions Kaizer Chiefs, derailed by a 2-1 defeat.

One can’t help but wonder how they ended up in this situation. Santos has to realize that every game counts, including the so-called minnows too.

Mart Nooij remains optimistic and confident about his charges’ ability to retain their top-flight status. The People’s Team has to stamp their authority and play the remaining two matches like a team that belongs in the PSL.

The fixture will be played at the Athlone stadium on Saturday 23rd of June 2012. Kickoff is scheduled at 20H15. Gates open at 18H00. Tickets will be available at the gate. R40 per adult and R10 per child under the age of 12.

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