Leopards Sink Stars In Play-Off Opener
Black Leopards started off their Premier Soccer League Promotion/Relegation campaign with a 1-0 victory over Platinum Stars on at the Thohoyandou Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.
An early penalty shout fell on deaf ears from Eugene Mdluli after Marks Munyai was tripped by Enocent Mkhabela on eight minutes.
Karabo Tshepe showed great footwork whenever he got out wide and were close to a goal on a few occasions.
Stars were finding it tough to get a grip on the clash as they failed on numerous instances to break down the home side.
At some point, it seemed as if the experience heads such as Vuyo Mere, Robert Ngambi, Bonginkosi Ntuli and Ryan De Jongh did little to put them in their stride.
It was all Leopards at this stage following a nipping move allowed Joseph Mhlongo the opportunity for a snap shot at goal which Dino Visser held on safely on 30 minutes.
On the stroke of halftime, Meshack Maphangule controlled expertly well out wide before rasping his shot narrowly across the face of goal.
The opener came a few minutes from the break when Maphangule set-up Phathushedzo Nange to run through and finish in the bottom corner off a cross from the left.
Dikwena nearly found a way back on 61 minutes when a free-kick from 30-yards out was met by Gerald Phiri Junior who got Rotshidzwa Muleka to tip it over the top.
Three minutes to the end, Stars thought they had secured an equaliser but the shot from Manti Mekoa was ruled out for offside, as Leopards start with a win ahead of Sunday’s match with Jomo Cosmos.