OVIDY KARURU’S club, Black Leopards, have been relegated from the South African Premiership, with a game still to be played, in the marathon.
The Limpopo side crashed to a 1-3 defeat, at the hands of Cape Town City yesterday, to crash out of the top-flight league.
The hosts came from behind, to win, giving returning coach, Eric Tinkler, a perfect start in his latest spell in charge of the Mother City club.
Tinkler made four changes, with shot-stopper Marc Anderson making his debut in place of the departed Peter Leeuwenburgh, alongside recalls for Thamsanqa Mkhize, Bradley Ralani and Abbubaker Mobara.
Leopards got the opener, with their first attack, as Khomotso Masia planted a header into the top corner, after a cross by Tumelo Khutlang.
Tinkler’s charges were on the front foot coming from the break and Fagrie Lakay eventually levelled matters for the hosts, just before the hour-mark, with a low strike into the bottom corner after a lay-back by Mpho Makola.
The Citizens made a double change just after that, as Tashreeq Morris replaced Martin in a tactical move while Abdul Ajagun came on for Makola in midfield.
Ajagun had an immediate impact after making it 2-1 for City on the hour-mark with a low strike towards the bottom corner after a cross by Terrence Mashego.
Ajagun sealed the deal for the Citizens as he made it 3-1 five minutes before time.
Another Zimbabwe international midfielder, Willard Katsande, was influential as Kaizer Chiefs gave interim head coach, Arthur Zwane, a good start, with a 3-2 win over Golden Arrows, at the FNB Stadium.
The gritty midfielder powered through the Arrows defence to set up hat-trick hero, Lebogang Manyama, for the equaliser, in the first half.
Arrows, who fielded Knox Mutizwa and Devine Lunga, took the lead through Michael Gumede.
Erick Mathoho’s own goal, after a fine delivery from a dead ball by Mutizwa, restored Abafana Bes’thende’s lead but two goals from Manyama wrapped up a fantastic turnaround for the Amakhosi.
“We came into this game knowing very well the importance of grinding out a result and playing against a team that is in the top three bracket at the moment. They came into the game with confidence,” Zwane told SuperSport TV. “Planning for this game, it was a case of allowing them to come at us a little bit. We knew that if we allowed them to exploit the space behind us, they would punish us. They have players with speed and who are very comfortable on the ball.
‘’We had to try and manage that.
“We allowed that at some times to dictate terms in the midfield of the park. So we had to bring in Ngcobo, who gave us balance and was good going forward. We needed someone who could just keep the ball for us and get the runners at the right time.’’
Orlando Pirates climbed to third spot on the DStv Premiership table after a 2-1 success over Baroka FC on Wednesday evening.
Bakgaga Ba Ga Mphahelele stunned the visitors through when Denwin Farmer finished off a loose ball from a free-kick past Sandilands after Bucs failed to clear their lines.
The Buccaneers pulled level just before the break through a smart finish from a free-kick by Gabadinho Mhango.
Pirates grabbed the lead with two minutes to go through a header from Zimbabwe international forward, Terrence Dzvukamanja, off a telling cross from Wayde Jooste to see out the clash in the end.
Kaitano Tembo guided SuperSport United to a 2-0 win over Maritzburg United. — Sports Reporter/KickOff.com ■