POLOKWANE – The game between the two rival teams took place at the Peter Mokaba Sports Complex on Saturday and had fans on their feet from the get-go. Both teams started the match on a positive note in the first half with Black Leopards dominating the match from the first whistle.
Karabo Tshepe put his team on the scoreboard after securing a free kick in the 10th minute. Lidoda Duvha’s midfielder, Khuliso Mudau, missed the opportunity to score his team’s second goal in the 30th minute with Black Leopards’ Joseph Mhlongo missing a third opportunity to score in the first half.
Polokwane City made a change for the second half when they replaced Salulani Phiri with Wiseman Maluleke to tighten their midfield.
Black Leopards responded by replacing Eden Nene with Ivan Mahangwahaya.
Black Leopards head coach, Joel Masutha, said it’s not easy coming from the National First Division (NFD) and winning your first PSL match, especially against formidable opponents such as Polokwane City.
“The derby is always on a turf pitch but my boys played well at the stadium. It is unfortunate that we couldn’t convert the many chances we created, but I have to give credit to Polokwane City goalkeeper, George Chigova, as he was clearly the man of the match. I can promise, however, that my boys will keep playing good football and face the competition without fear,” Masutha said.
He added Tsheamo Mashoena did extremely well. “He always wanted someone who is aggressive and he put someone who only went forward to play against Rodney Ramagalela. He was on top of the game.
“We played good, peeling the match from the get-go and not giving our opponents the chance to regain hope or confidence. Even though we only scored one goal, we came close several times. If a team scores two or more goals, the little hope your opponents have collapses and it becomes easy-going from there. Mwepe Musonda missed many chances in the first half, but all credit goes to Chigova, he was unbelievable,” Masutha added.
He said the win is going to help the team in their upcoming match against Highlands Park which they expect is going to be tough as Highlands Park signs top quality players and they are not an easy side to play against. “I believe the two upcoming away games will be super exciting as my boys know what it means to be in the PSL.
“ I believe maybe during the warm-up they still felt like NFD players but now they tasted glory and are ready for the PSL. They will now be hungry for victory because they know what it tastes like.”