Premier Soccer League Promotion/Relegation Play-Off
Teams: Black Leopards 1-0 Jomo Cosmos
Date: 30 May 2018
Venue: Thohoyandou Stadium
Black Leopards have secured promotion to the Absa Premiership after defeating Jomo Cosmos 1-0 in their final Premier Soccer League Promotion/Relegation Play-Off tie.
Following his impact from the bench against Platinum Stars, the hosts opted to start with Joseph Mhlongo in attack to get a firm grip on the clash from the onset.
After lively opening with few chances, the packed home crowd went wild when Karabo Tshepe got the opener after finishing off a perfectly weighted pass from Mhlongo on 26 minutes.
Ezenkosi were showing a few promising moments thereafter, but their path to finding the equaliser were short in coming amidst a few sparingly half-hearted attempts.
Time ticked by and Leopards went close to a second after Marks Munyai found space on the right to set-up Tshepe with a cross-field pass, but the final attempt was cleared off the line on 42 minutes.
Cosmos made a few necessary changes to aid their come back in their penultimate playoff match with Platinum Stars awaiting over the weekend.
Lidoda Duvha were edging ever closer to finding to a double when Khomotso Mosia got a header in from a corner but it went over the top on 60 minutes.
Soon, sharpshooter Mwape Musonda faced the goal head on from a free-kick position, but his effort slightly ricocheted off a big wall before falling safely in the hands of Lebogang Modiba.
Cosmos, who needed a last-ditch strike to snatch a draw in the reverse fixture, almost silenced the sold-out venue when Sphesihle Nzimande’s header reduced Rotshidzwa Muleka to a one-handed save.
The clock wind down and neither side was able to find further goals, leaving Leopards to walk away victors and secure a return to the Premiership since 2013.
Cosmos will now remain in the second tier and will be joined by Dikwena, who have now been relegated.
Here's how they line up:
Leopards: Muleka, Mashoene, Masia, Munganga, Munyai, Nene, Mudau, Nange, Tshepe, Mhlongo, Musonda.
Subs: Ndlovu, Ndou, Nevhulamba, Aifmi, Ndawonde, Mahangwahaya, Shivambu.
Cosmos: K. Ndlovu, Gebhardt, Lebahi, Lingwati, Makobela, Sibeko, Haoseb, Manjoe, Sono Jnr, Mabula, Nzimande.
Subs: Modiba, Tlolane, Hlongwane, Rasilingwane, Obi, Laqwela, Mgunda.