Leopards beat Dikwena in promotion playoffs

Cape Town - Black Leopards got their promotion/relegation playoff campaign off to the perfect start as Phathutshedzo Nange gave the hosts a vital 1-0 win over Platinum Stars.

After a cagey first half Nange gave the hosts the lead - in front of a packed home crowd at the Thohoyandou Stadium - with a clinical right-footed finish in the 53rd minute.

Dikwena looked to respond and threw bodies forward while employing long-ball tactics but the home side's defence stood firm.

Roger De Sa's side though had a legitimate goal to draw level wrongly disallowed for offside in the 88th minute that resulted in one of the loudest cheers from the home crowd.

That's how things ended with Leopards claiming all three points in their quest to secure promotion to the Absa Premiership.

"I thought we were a little bit under-cooked today," De Sa said of his side who travelled to the Limpopo Province at the last minute.

"We were under prepared so we weren't sharp at all, we were second best to everything. They are a pacey side and this is a tough place to come to and it's a good learning experience for my boys.

"We've got to pick ourselves back up now, we have three more games - two at home and one away so we've got to get back into the race.

Delighted Black Leopards head coach, Joel Masutha hailed his side after securing the three points in a tough encounter.

"It was a very close encounter, first half it was a very tough match," he said.

"The boys fought hard it wasn't easy and I believe the boys deserve all the credit because getting a win against a PSL team is not easy.