Related News

Related Club News

Black Leopards’ PSL elevation continued promotion/relegation play-off trend

Posted: 31 May 2018 Time: 11:20

Black Leopards on Wednesday secured their return to the Absa Premiership for the first time in five years, continuing a trend in the play-offs.

READ: 'Welcome back to the big league Leopards'

A first-half Karabo Tshepe strike secured Lidoda Duvha a 1-0 victory over National First Division rivals Jomo Cosmos in front of a packed Thohoyandou Stadium, as Leopards took an unassailable lead on the promotion/relegation play-offs table to secure top-flight football for the first time since the 2012/13 season.

Since their relegation that year, Leopards have contested the play-offs three times, finally making it fourth-time lucky this year to ensure the province of Limpopo will be represented by three different clubs in the Absa Premiership next season.

In winning the play-offs, Leopards continued a trend in seeing four of the last seven play-off mini leagues won by the team finishing second in the NFD.

In the 2011/12 campaign – the first season in the which the current NFD table and promotion/relegation play-offs format was implemented, following the disbanding of the former Inland and Coastal Stream leagues – second-tier runners-up Chippa United earned promotion, ending the play-offs four points ahead of the PSL’s 15th-placed club Santos and the NFD’s third-placed side Thanda Royal Zulu.

A year later, Mpumalanga Black Aces made history as they still to this day remain the only third-placed NFD side to have earned promotion via the play-offs, edging out second-placed NFD side Santos and 15th-placed PSL team Chippa, who bounced straight back down to the second tier.

In the 2013/14 season, Polokwane City maintained their top-flight status after finishing 15th in the regular season before seeing off the challenges of Leopards and Milano in the play-offs to fight another day.

Leopards was again involved in the play-offs the following year courtesy of their third-place finish in the NFD, yet once more failed to secure the step up, narrowly losing out on goal difference to Cosmos who made their top-flight return at Moroka Swallows’ expense.

For the third time in the history of the play-offs, the NFD runners-up again emerged victorious in the 2015/16 season as Highlands Park won three and drew one of their four play-offs encounters to gain promotion, with the NFD’s third-placed team Mbombela United four points behind as the PSL’s 15th-placed University of Pretoria dropped down to the NFD.

Last year’s play-offs involved the Absa Premiership’s 15th-placed side Baroka, NFD runners-up Lidoda Duvha and third-placed Stellenbosch FC, with Bakgaga going unbeaten as they finished three points above Leopards to top the mini-league and preserve their top-flight status, before finishing 14th on the log this season.

Article by: Fabio De Dominicis
Terms of use:

The comments posted do not reflect the views of Users are reminded that no misuse of this comment facility will be tolerated. Any abusive, racist, inflammatory, defamatory, discriminatory comments or hate speech will be deleted and the user banned.

If legally obliged we will hand over your information under the Protection of Information Act.

Please report abusive posts to