2022/23 CAF Confederations Cup semi-finalist, Marumo Gallants have been relegated from the DStv Premiership in South Africa on Saturday after a 2-0 loss Swallows FC.
Marumo, a team composed largely of ageing discards from other top-flight sides, lost a CAF Confederation Cup semi-final to Young Africans of Tanzania on Wednesday.
Then, needing a draw against Swallows to avoid automatic demotion, they fell to a couple of goals from Lindokuhle Mtshali, who scored in first half added-time and with nine minutes left.
Defeat left Marumo on 29 points, one less than Maritzburg United and Chippa United, after the final round of the 30-matchday championship.
“I am shattered. It never crossed my mind that this (relegation) would happen,” said Marumo coach Raymond Mdaka.
“We were on top of the world just a few weeks ago — eliminating powerful Egyptian club Pyramids in a Confederation Cup quarter-final and picking up valuable league points at home.
“What probably counted against us in the end was a lack of strength in depth. We are a small club and lack the financial resources of many other South African teams.
“The boys were a little tired lately from all the travel — we visited Madagascar, Libya twice, Zambia, Algeria, Egypt and Tanzania to reach the Confederation Cup semi-finals.”