Leopards keep top flight status
Black Leopards retained their place in the Premiership for another season with a 3-1 win over Ajax Cape Town in their final match of the season in Polokwane on Saturday.
Leopards were aggressive from the start and they were rewarded early on when Kingston Nkhatha fired in a header in the seventh minute to put them ahead.
Ajax made the occasional break but Leopards were in control throughout the opening period as they surged forward, though they struggled to hit the target.
Itumeleng Duiker had perhaps the best chance in the remainder of the first half, but Ajax goalkeeper Sander Westerveld tipped his headed effort over the crossbar in injury time as the hosts took a 1-0 lead into the break.
Leopards were eventually rewarded for their stubborn approach when Samuel Mabunda scored in the 50th minute to give them a 2-0 advantage.
Four minutes later, they netted again when Nkosiyabo Xakane slotted in another close-range header.
Ajax came close to narrowing the gap in the 66th minute when Khama Billiat hit the bar, and with 10 minutes left, Thulani Hlatshwayo’s shot was tipped around the post by Leopards keeper Azwindini Maphaha.
The visitors found a consolation goal with three minutes remaining when Lebogang Manyama hit the back of the net with a left-footed strike.
Leopards finished 14th in the standings, escaping the relegation playoffs, while Ajax narrowly missed out on a top-eight finish, ending the season in ninth position.