Black Leopards win promotion to the Premiership

Joel Masutha coach of Black Leopards being held up high   during the National First Division Promotion Playoffs  at  Thohoyandou Stadium. (Pic Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix)

Joel Masutha coach of Black Leopards being held up high during the National First Division Promotion Playoffs at Thohoyandou Stadium. (Pic Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix)

Black Leopards booked their place in the Absa Premiership for the 2018/19 season after beating Jomo Cosmos 1-0 in a promotion playoff match played at the Thohoyandou Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.

Karobo Tshepe’s 25th-minute volley from close range past Cosmos goalkeeper King Ndlovu was enough to see the host to victory on a day when they had enough opportunities to score three or more goals.

With Cosmos doing their best to find the equaliser they did not build up enough pressure to cause headaches for Leopards’goalkeeper Rotshidzwa Muleka. Ezenkosi, as the visitors are known, were always prone to be caught on the counter-attack.

Jomo Sono’s charges did well to keep Leopards’ goal-hungry Mwape Musonda quiet, but the home side showed a greater sense of urgency.

The victory was sweet for Leopards who will return to the top flight for the first time since 2013, having missed out in last year’s playoffs when fellow Limpopo side Baroka FC, who finished in 15th place in the top league, managed to win their way to retaining their status.

Leopards’ win took them to 8 points from 4 matches in the playoff competition, with Saturday’s final fixture in which Cosmos (2 points from 3 games) will host Platinum Stars (3 points from 3 games) being of academic interest.

Stars, who finished in 15th spot in the top flight this season, will now join Cosmos in the National First Division for the 2018/2019 campaign.

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