Leopards keep promotion hopes alive
Posted: 14 June 2017 Time: 19:00
Black Leopards kept their hopes of a return to the Absa Premiership alive with a 3-1 victory at Stellenboch United in their penultimate Promotion Playoff game on Wednesday.
The equation going into Saturday’s final fixture between Leopards and Baroka FC in Thohoyandou is clear: Lidoda Duvha need to win by two clear goals or more to seal promotion, while anything else will see them spend another season in the National First Division, with Baroka staying up.
A brace from Mwape Musonda and third goal from Mumuni Abubakar sealed the win for Leopards at already-ousted Stellenbosch, but they may be left to rue a bizarre goal they conceded which could cost them promotion.
The first half yielded few chances, but Leopards were ahead on 40 minutes when Musonda reacted quickest to a parried save from Stellenbosch goalkeeper Edward More and buried the ball.
He had a second before the halftime whistle as a sloppy pass from Matthew Rowell gifted him the opportunity and the Zambian finished again.
Stellenbosch got themselves back into the game in bizarre circumstances.
Leopards put the ball out after Taariq Dien required treatment. Stellenbosch midfielder Petrus Shitembi booted the ball to the visiting goalkeeper Rotshidzwa Muleka from the halfway line to return possession to Leopards, but the gloveman misjudged the flight and the ball bounced over his head and into the goal.
If Leopards miss out on promotion by a single strike on goal-difference they will be left to rue their bad luck.
Leopards added a crucial third when Abubakar headed home from a corner, but they could not find a fourth that would leave them needing just a single goal win over Baroka on Saturday for promotion.
Stellenbosch: More, De Goede, Skippers (Niang 46'), Booysen, Rowell, Webber, Dien (Van Rooyen 73'), Mabua, Mekoa, Moroole, Shitembi
Leopards: Muleka, Munyai, Mabotja, Munganga, Ndou, Abubakar, Nange, Maphangule (Mahangwahaya 72'), Musonda, Ntshangase, Zimu (Shivambu 86').