Black Leopards survive relegation with late winner against Cape Town City
THOHOYANDOU – Relegation-threatened Black Leopards assured themselves of a longer stay in top-flight football by beating Cape Town City 1-0 at the Thohoyandou Stadium in Thohoyandou on Saturday.
Going into the match in the 15th (second-last) position on the league table, Leopards relied on a 76th-minute goal from defender Khomotso Masia to see off City, who were destined to end in fourth spot on the log, irrespective of the result.
This was Masia’s first goal of the season for Leopards, but worth its weight in gold as the Limpopo side came out tops in a relegation tussle that involved Baroka FC, Chippa United, Maritzburg United, who ended second last and will be involved in playoff action, and relegated Free State Stars.
The Leopards defence were kept on their toes throughout the 90 minutes, with City attackers in Siphelele Mthembu (later replaced by Kermit Erasmus), Chris David and the ever-present Teko Modise – who was playing in his last match before retiring from professional football – causing several anxious moments for the home team.
However, the City men found Leopards’ No 1 King Ndlovu in fine form, while at the other end of the park, Peter Leeuwenburgh also had to pull off several top saves to keep the Leopards strikers at bay.
The win took Leopards to safety, as they ended in 13th place on the log with 30 points from as many games. City finished with 48 points from 30 matches.