Black Leopards managed to secure a narrow 1-0 victory over Platinum Stars in their opening promotion/relegation encounter at the Thohoyandou Stadium on Wednesday, writes DYLAN APPOLIS.
The home side got off to a good start and thought they should’ve been awarded a penalty in the eighth minute when Enocent Mkhabela fouled Marks Munyai in the area, but the referee waved play on.
At the other end, Stars were struggling to break down the Leopards’ defence.
Lidoda Duvha dominated proceedings as the match went on and came close to breaking the deadlock when Joseph Mhlongo forced Dino Visser into making a fine save to deny his effort at goal.
Leopards should’ve broken the deadlock on the stroke of half-time, but Meshack Maphangule’s effort sailed across the face of the Dikwena goal as the scoreline remained goalless.
The home side eventually opened the scoring after 58 minutes when Maphangule crossed the ball into the path of Phathutshedzo Nange, who found the back of the net with his strike.
Dikwena nearly found an equalising goal three minutes later after Gerald Phiri unleashed a strike at goal, but Rotshidzwa Muleka was on hand to deny the midfielder.
The visitors thought they had levelled matter three minutes from time when Manti Mekoa tested Muleka with his effort, but his effort was ruled offside.
However, Leopards managed to hold on to their one-goal lead over Dikwena until the final whistle to secure the win at the Thohoyandou Stadium.
Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix