Leopards haunted by relegation

Richard Nkosi

Richard Nkosi

Black Leopards team manager Sam Khaphatha says their fairy-tale run in the Nedbank Cup will not sway their attention from the National First Division campaign where they are scrapping for their lives.

Lidoda Duvha are among the firm favourites to be axed to the Vodacom Promotional League from the inland stream at the end of the season.

Khaphatha stressed that their two back-to-back wins over Premiership sides AmaZulu (1-0) and Bay United (5-4 on penalties) in the Nedbank Cup have inspired them for their league contest, which has reached boiling point.

They will now meet another elite league side, Platinum Stars, in the quarterfinals of the prestigious tournament in two weeks' time.

But Limpopo-based Leopards should be more concerned about their position in the league. They are rooted at the foot of the inland stream with 19 points from 18 games, with three matches to go.

"We seem to have found Lady Luck, who once deserted us," Khaphatha said. "If you can look at our league games, we have been playing well but our downfall is our failure to convert chances.

"We have also been missing easy chances in the cup. But our coaches are paying special attention in the striking department at training and I'm convinced we will be sharper in front of goal in our coming matches."

Witbank Spurs and Dynamos, who have both accumulated 20 points apiece after 18 games, are also fighting for survival in the inland stream that appears to be tighter than the coastal one as three clubs are fighting for survival and four for promotion.