Leopards leap into Absa Premiership
Posted: 30 May 2018 Time: 16:51
Black Leopards have secured their promotion to the Absa Premiership following a 1-0 victory over Jomo Cosmos in the play-offs on Wednesday.
Lidoda Duvha confirmed their spot amongst the 16 top flight in the 2018/19 campaign thanks to a Karabo Tshepe strike in their final play-off fixture at the Thohoyandou Stadium.
Leopards broke the deadlock midway through the first half, when Tshepe found himself unmarked at the back-post to send Mwape Musonda’s cross home in the 25th minute.
Cosmos tried to regain their confidence with some smart build-up play from the back, but the hosts were solid in defence as they stole possession in their own third.
Tshepe had a glorious chance to double his side’s lead a minute before the break but for a brilliant last-gasp challenge from Thato Lingwati that kept Ezenkosi in the game.
The home side were all too happy to take the advantage into the break, but came out to make their intentions known in the second stanza.
Musonda had a chance of his own to get on the scoresheet with a deflected free-kick from just outside the box in the 62nd minute, but Cosmos keeper Kgosietsile Ndlovu did well to change direction and latch onto the ball before it crossed the line.
A goal-mouth scramble with a minute remaining saw four Leopards players fail to burry the tie as Ndlovu pulled off a double save to make for an anxious end to the encounter.
However, the hosts held on to record their second win of the mini-league and, with eight points on the board, secured their passage to the Absa Premiership with an unassailable lead.
Cosmos and Platinum Stars face-off in a dead-rubber final fixture on Saturday.