Musonda gives Leopards bright start in promotion playoffs

Mwape Musonda of Black Leopards celebrates goal with teammates during the GladAfrica Championship 2019/20 PlayOffs match between Black Leopards and Ajax Cape Town at FNB Stadium (Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix)

Black Leopards started their relegation/promotion playoffs campaign on a good note by edging Ajax Cape Town 1-0 at FNB Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.

The Urban Warriors dominated the first half, but it was Lidoda Duvha who led at the half-time break courtesy of a Mwape Musonda goal.

Ajax should have taken the lead in as early as the sixth minute when Eleazar Rodgers’ glancing header found Rodrick Kabwe inside the area, and his shot was blocked, only for it to fall kindly for Thendo Mukumela who shot over the crossbar from few metres out.

They were to pay for this missed chance in the 25th minute when Musonda put Leopards in the lead with a low shot following a nice build up that was initiated by him.

Sonwabile Mfecane had a chance to equalise for Ajax in the 29th minute following a mistake at the back by Thivhavhudzi Ndou for Leopards, who tried to head the ball back to King Ndlovu, but missed it leaving Mfecane with a sight of goal, but the young striker shot wide.

Mfecane had a chance to make amends of the earlier miss in the 40th minute when a cross by substitute Chumani Butsaka found him in a good area, but he missed the ball completely from six metres out, much to the dismay of coach Calvin Marlin and his bench.

Rodgers then brought the best out of Ndlovu just before half-time, when he unleashed a powerful shot inside the box, but the goalkeeper pulled off a good save to make sure that Lidoda Duvha took their slender lead into the break.

Ajax took the game to Leopards in the second half in search of the equaliser, but the Lidoda Duvha defence stood strong.

The Urban Warriors appealed for the penalty in the 80th minute for a foul on Keagan Johannes, but the foul was given against him instead.

Substitute Mohau Mokate almost snatched a point for Ajax towards the end when he latched onto a Rodgers cross, but found Ndlovu perfectly positioned to make a stop to make sure Leopards took all the points on offer.

Lidoda Duvha will now face Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila in their second game of the playoffs on Saturday.

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