"We will still be in the Absa Premiership next season," was the bold declaration made by Black Leopards' coach Boebie Solomons after their defeat on Saturday.
Lidoda Duvha were pipped 2-1 by log leaders Ajax Cape Town in a league match at Thohoyandou Stadium.
It was Leopards' first match at their home base after they were forced to host their first-round matches in Giyani because of an unplayable pitch at Thohoyandou Stadium.
The home side, who scored first in the first half through Malawian midfielder Fischer Kondowe in the 39th minute, had to play the second half with 10 men after midfielder Alpheus Kekana was sent off five minutes before the interval for a second bookable offence.
The Urban Warriors, who are in the driver's seat on the Premiership table on 32 points from 17 matches, retaliated in the second stanza, scoring two goals through Nathan Paulse.
Paulse struck in the 52nd minute, thanks to a good cross from Dipsy Selolwane, and again 15 minutes later.
"We might be down but we are totally not out and I want to assure our supporters that we will still be in the elite league next season," said Solomons.
Ajax assistant coach Wilfred Mugeyi said: "It was not an easy match but we are happy and motivated by the positive result."