SA trio at Bielefeld under pressure


Bielefeld currently lie 15th on the Bundesliga log, one position above the relegation zone and two points ahead of 16th-placed Nuremburg. The last game of the season is on Saturday.

Rowen Fernandez, Sibusiso Zuma and Siyabonga Nkosi are sweating on their status, fully aware that unless they collect all three points when they visit mid-table Vfb Stuttgart this weekend, they could end up in the Bundesliga 2 next season.

A draw against their higher placed rivals is no guarantee for survival because should Nuremburg beat third-placed Schalke 04, whom they host at the weekend, they will remain in Germany’s top flight due to a superior goal difference.

Bielefeld has conceded 40 goals this season compared to Nuremburg’s 33, but Fernandez cannot be blamed for this situation.

Most of these goals went in while Bielefeld’s captain and first-choice keeper Mattheus Hain was between the posts and it is for this reason that the coach Frontzeck has kept Fernandez in goal for the past five games.

In fact, Frontzeck is already under fire in Westphalia because he is adamant that he has faith in Fernandez and that the South African will be between the posts again on Saturday.

A win against Borussia Dortmund last weekend would have guaranteed Bielefeld’s survival and they looked to have the game in the bag until the 83rd minute as they were leading 2-1; with Dortmund’s solitary goal having come from Bafana Bafana’s Delron Buckley.

Bielefeld conceded a free-kick almost directly in front of the box and Dortmund’s Alexander Frei sent in a bullet that struck Fernandez on the side of the head and ricocheted into the back of his net.

The result leaves Bielefeld now only two points clear of Nuremburg instead of what could have been an unassailable five.