Leopards chasing two-goal win in Playoff finale

Leopards chasing two-goal win in Playoff finale
Phathutshedzo Nange of Black Leopards is challenged Sibusiso Hadebe of Stellenbosch during the NFD Promotion Playoffs match between Black Leopards and Stellenbosch on 03 June 2017 at Thohoyandou Stadium © Sydney Mahlangu /BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Friday Jun 16, 2017. 15:30

Black Leopards will host Baroka FC for what could be a thrilling finale to the PSL Promotion Playoff tournament, with the match set for Saturday afternoon at Thohoyandou Stadium.

Baroka hold all the aces coming to the match, as they have a three-point lead at the top of the three-team log (and a superior goal difference) after claiming successive home wins over Leopards and Stellenbosch FC last weekend.

Yet Leopards’ hopes of promotion are still very much alive: they defeated Stellies 3-1 in Cape Town on Wednesday night to tee up this match perfectly - Lidoda Duvha, with home advantage, must win by two clear goals to secure a place in next season’s Absa Premiership.

They would have needed just a victory by any margin had they not conceded a bizarre goal in their victory over Stellenbosch. Petrus Shitembi sportingly punted the ball toward Leopards’ Rotshidzwa Muleka from the halfway line to return possession, but the goalkeeper misjudged the flight to concede a comedic goal.

Yet it was no laughing matter for Lidoda Duvha coach Jean Luscuito: “I’m happy with the victory, but disappointed by the goal we conceded. Maybe this goal can change everything for us against Baroka.

“But I am happy with my players, because we played offensive football, especially in the first half. Maybe in the second half, we were not so good. Important today was to win and we scored three times as well.”

The Belgian coach added, “We will analyse this game [on Thursday], but we know Baroka, this is a team that has experience in the PSL.”

Baroka defeated Leopards 2-1 at the Peter Mokaba Stadium last week, thanks to a brace from Victor Letsoalo. The return match this Saturday kicks off at 15h00 CAT.

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