Leopards stalk Stars to keep up winning ways

DANGER: Black Leopards striker Mulondo Sikhwivhilu. Pic. Abbey Sebetha. 15/04/06. © Backpagepix.
DANGER: Black Leopards striker Mulondo Sikhwivhilu. Pic. Abbey Sebetha. 15/04/06. © Backpagepix.

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Black Leopards are going for the kill against Platinum Stars in a Castle Premiership match at Giyani Stadium in Limpopo tomorrow, with the hope of keeping their unbeaten run on home soil intact.

Matches involving the two sides have produced fireworks in the past.

The Tycoons relocated from Limpopo to the platinum town of Rustenburg where they are now the property of the Royal Bafokeng tribe .

"The game in Giyani will be no different at all, the rivalry that has always existed when we were still both in Limpopo will be renewed on Saturday," said Tshifhiwa "Chief" Thidiela, brand manager of Lidoda Duvha, yesterday.

"As professionals, we did not allow the [0-1] defeat by Ajax Cape Town last week to demoralise us. It's always the case in soccer that you win and lose. However, we have made it clear to the players that the beginning of the season is critical for us to win games consistently.

"We need to start collecting a reasonable number of points so that we do not find ourselves spending sleepless nights towards the end of the season with the club languishing at the bottom of the log. That is also not good for the brand of the club.

"Saturday's game will be the second for us at the venue this season since we relocated to Giyani after it was announced that the Thohoyandou Stadium will be closed for renovations in preparation for the 2010 World Cup finals.

"The support we received when we beat SuperSport United [2-0] in the first game was great, we hope to get more people coming to the game. Our promise to them is that we won't disappoint them. Stars will go back to North West empty-handed," said Thidiela.

Thamaga Mokgopi, Stars' manager, was unfazed by Thidiela's utterances.

"It is common knowledge that Leopards have improved a great deal this season after Boebie Solomons was named coach and several quality players were recruited by the club. We are well aware that it will be a tough match," said Mokgopi.

"We are now under pressure, especially after the [2-1] loss to Bloemfontein Celtic. We will be very cautious this time round, but the plan is to grab maximum points."

Mokgopi said they still have a good support base in Limpopo.

Stars have won only one game after beating tail-enders Lamontville Golden Arrows 1-0.

They will be minus Wonani Mulaudzi, who was red-carded against Ajax.