Reports & Previews

Black Leopards 1-0 Cape Town City

Isaac Masia scored a dramatic late goal to hand Black Leopards a 1-0 win over Cape Town City at Thohoyandou Stadium to secure their Premiership status for next season.

It took them until the 76th minute of the final game of the campaign to officially avoid relegation, but I'm sure the phrase 'better late than never' has been mentioned more than once among the clubs fans today.

The fixture was always going to be a nail-biter because of what was at stake for Leopards and it began in quite incredible fashion.

The home side was awarded a penalty just seven minutes in when Lifa Hlongwane was brought down in the box by a lazy, late challenge from Thami Mkhize.

It seemed like it was all falling into place for Leopards, who needed nothing less than a win to ensure they would be playing Premiership football next season. However, Peter Leeuvenburgh was on-hand to spoil the party and save Mwape Musonda's spot kick.

The two sides tightened up noticeably after the incident and most of the first half was played out in the middle of the field.

Even though there weren't many chances created, the midfield battle was never-the-less intruiging to watch and you could almost feel the tension inside the stadium.

Cape Town City started the better of the two sides after half time, but Mkhize squandered two good chances early on. The first he flash well over the bar despite being under very little pressure and the second he hit straight at the goalkeeper who made an easy save.

After that, though, the Leopards began to dominate. Perhaps the desperation of wanting to avoid a relegation battle gave them an edge and they shifted gear, pushing the visitors firmly onto the back foot.

Lifa Hlongwane went desperately close to finding the goal they were looking for but saw his shot fly inches wide of the post.

And just when hope was begining to wane for the home side, they won a corner in the 78th minute and Masia was able to get ahead of his marker to head home the winning goal and secure his side's Premiership future for at least one more season.