Sibongiseni Gumbi
Football Writer
2 minute read
30 May 2018
11:20 am

Leopards ready to pounce on Cosmos

Sibongiseni Gumbi

There are a lot of "ifs" going into today's match between Leopards and Cosmos in Thohoyandou.

Tebogo Mabula of Jomo Cosmos is challenged by Marks Munyai of Black Leopards during the National First Division Promotion Playoffs match between Jomo Cosmos and Black Leopards on 20 May 2018 at Vosloorus Stadium Pic Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Will it end this afternoon or will it go down to the wire? This is the question most likely to be on local football fans’ minds this morning as Black Leopards host Jomo Cosmos in a prompotion play-off match at Thohoyandou Stadium this afternoon.

As things stand, Leopards are top of the three-team mini-league with five points, followed by Cosmos and Platinum Stars who are on two points each.

There are a lot of “ifs” going into today’s match. And depending on the result a lot of calculations may have to be done.

If Lidoda Duvha win, they get promoted to the Absa Premiership next season.

If they draw, they will have to hope for a draw when Cosmos and Stars meet on Saturday afternoon.

Cosmos will have to beat Stars by two goals or more to get the final spot in the lucrative Premiership.

If Cosmos win this afternoon, all three will have an equal chance of clinching promotion to the top flight, but Dikwena will have to win their final match convincingly as well.

This is why Lidoda Duvha coach Joel Masutha has urged his side to save everyone the stress of going through the calculations by beating Ezenkosi tonight and ending the contest early.

“There is no other way for us but to win and end the calculations. We have to do it at home,” said Masutha.

But Ezenkosi will also fancy their chances and have pledged to go for the win despite an intimidating reception they are likely to receive from the thousands of Lidoda Duvha fans at Thohoyandou Stadium which is usually filled to the brim when Leopards play there.

Jomo Sono’s side will, however, have some leeway to play for a draw if a win proves too much to achieve.

Both sides play an attack-minded game while they have some frailties at the back, especially Leopards, whose keeper has made some unforgivable blunders.

But it is in attack where Lidoda Duvha have been sharp with Phathutshedzo Nange and Mwape Musonda proving to be on the money having scored two goals each already in the three games the side has played.

Cosmos’ goals have come from various players this season which makes them a little unpredictable up front.