Full Time: Black Leopards 1-2 Polokwane City
Date: 01 June 2014
Venue: Giyani Stadium
Polokwane City maintained their place in the Absa Premiership for the 2014/15 season with a 2-1 win over Black Leopards in the final relegation/promotion play off at the Giyani Stadium on Sunday.
First half goals from Sipho Jembula and Vukile Mngqibisa saw Rise and Shine secure the win which left them at the top of the mini-league playoff table with ten points, four ahead of Leopards.
The opening half had a real cut and thrust to the game with both sides pushing forward and playing the game at an electric pace.
Polokwane opened the scoring as early as the third minute after Jembula headed home a right-wing free-kick, 1-0.
This forced Leopards to push forward, knowing that only a win would see them earn promotion into the Absa Premiership, but their finishing in front of goal was poor.
Polokwane, on other hand, were very threatening in attack and managed to add their second in the 27th minute courtesy of a Mngqibisa penalty goal after Jembula was pulled down inside the box, 2-0
Leopards then suffered another set-back on the half hour mark when goalkeeper Jacob Mokhasi had to leave the field injured and was replaced by Dino Visser.
The closest Leopards came to finding a goal was a header from Kenneth Owusu which struck the woodwork at a corner-kick in the 38th minute.
The second half saw Leopards controlling the match and they were extremely unlucky not to find the back of the net after striking the woodwork three times.
On the hour mark Meshack Maphangule struck the crossbar with a 24-yard free-kick.
Seven minutes later a thunderous 30-yard shot from Bafana Sibekostruck the underside of the crossbar and bounced away from danger.
In the 74th minute Leopards hit the woodwork for the third time in the half when a low 24-yard free-kick from Mumuni Abubakar hit the left-hand post.
Five minutes later Leopards did manage to pull a goal back through Leonard Ntshangase, 2-1, but it was too little too late.
The game ended on a rather sour note for Polokwane when Sandile Sibande was shown a second yellow card in the 84th minute.
In the end, though, Polokwane held on for the victory and will be celebrating their renewed position in the South African top flight.