The battle to secure the last 16 remaining spots in the 17th edition of the Discovery Walter Sisulu Soccer Challenge will go to the wire as a number of teams are still in the hunt for the nine available spots.
It might have been cloudy on day 21 of the tournament on Sunday but it was raining goals as 62 goals were scored.
We have witnessed some entertaining encounters and shocking results, and seven teams have already booked their places in the round of last 16 which will start on Thursday, December 26 at the Nike Football Training Centre in Klipspruit, Soweto.
Dube Continental embarrassed Major 1 Academy of Sports when they demolished them 17-0 while River Park showed no mercy when they beat Giyani All Stars 14-0.
Continental’s margin of victory was just three goals short of the all-time Discovery Challenge record of 20 goals set by Soweto FC when they beat Mofolo Aces 20-0 back in 2016.
In the process, Continental surpassed their previous best of 12-0 against Hlokoloza FC in 2018.
The top two finishers from each group will automatically secure qualification for the knockout stages of the Discovery Challenge.
The defending champions in Group A, Sneke Chillers are seating uncomfortably on top of their group as they will need to win their last game to stay on course to defend their title while Soweto Super United and Dube Continental will have to fight it out to take second position.
Meadowlands Harmony, top of Group B are through to the last 16 while NC Zasco and KZN Shinning Stars are in a contest for the remaining spot.
Strokes who top Group C only need a point in their final group stage game to qualify as Sabelo Super Stars, High Care and Dlamini XI Experience will look to guarantee their place as group runners up.
The high flying Villa Marseille booked a spot in 16 points for the first time while only one team between crowds’ favourites Mamba FC along with Pimville Cameroon and River Park will join Marseille by finishing in second place.
All the teams in Group E have played their allocated seven games with last year’s finalists White City Spurs going through to the round of 16 with ease after winning six of their seven games to top their group meanwhile Flamingo edged through in second place ahead of OPS Shinning Stars, because of the latter’s inferior goal difference as both sides ended the group stages on 13 points.
Teams in Group F have secured their spots in the last 16. Senaone Gunners who were favourites to top the group and three-time champions failed to qualify after they finished third in the group with Burundi FC and Premier Impala in first and second position respectively through while Gauteng SAPS who surprised many narrowly missed out.
La Masia, the 2017 champions qualified as group winners with five teams in Group G while Meadowlands Academy, Zak Park FC, Sneke Movers and Black Madida are all looking to take the all-important second place to go through as well.
In Group H however it is still wide open and it will go down to the very last game with the top two spots for the last 16 still up for grabs. It is a four-horse race between ASR FC, Galacticos, Catalonia and Diepkloof Citizens.
The group stage encounters will conclude on Tuesday, December 24 with all the teams that qualified for the last 16 teams named.
To stay updated on the tournament, follow Discovery Walter Sisulu Soccer Challenge 2019 on Facebook and use the hashtag #DWSSC19 across platforms to follow all the action.
Gates will open at 9am daily and entry is free.