26 July 2014 - Apollo XI failed in their quest to gain promotion to the NFD after drawing 0-0 with Angavu Stars in a SAFA Second Division/ ABC Motsepe League playoff game at the King Zwelithini Stadium on Saturday.
The Mpumalanga outfit side finished their Group A campaign on eight points, one point behind Cape Town All Stars, who will be promoted to the National First Division (NFD) along with Group A winners Highlands Park.
Apollo started the game well and had a good early chance, but Nhlanhla Mntungwa dragged his sixth minute shot wide of the left hand upright from what had been a good position inside the box.
More chances followed for the Mpumalanga club, but Ntsako Gumede was unable to beat Angavu keeper Eziel Mamatela with his free kick, the same player then failing to find the target, blasting the ball over goal after Mamatela had saved his initial effort.
After the restart, the Eastern Cape side continued to look dangerous in front of goal, and created several decent chances, but Zithulele Mhlontlo saw his shot from a tight angle landing on the roof of the net.
The balance of play then swung back to Apollo, but they were unable to turn promising situations into goals as Tshepo Malope fired over the bar while Mapiti Maimela was unable to beat Mamatela, who recovered well to make a good save after initially spilling a cross on the hour mark.
Moving into the final 10 minutes, Apollo were always going to be vulnerable on the counter as they searched for a goal, but Angavu failed to capitalise as Yekiso side-footed wide from in front of goal, while Aubrey Nthani failed to beat Sibanyoni in a one-on-one situation.
Following that there was another let-off for Apollo as defender Gerald Sebashe cleared the ball off his own line, before Nthani did exactly the same thing on the Angavu goal-line.
Try as they might, Apollo were just not able to get the breakthrough they needed, and had to settle for a 0-0 draw which ended their promotion dream.
In another Group A game, played simultaneously on the King Zwelithini outer fields, North West side Shining Stars finished their ply-off campaign in fine fashion, hammering Free State side Sibanye Golden Stars 7-2.