BLACK Leopards beat Vasco da Gama 3-1 in the Promotion Playoffs semifinal 2nd leg match at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday afternoon, to relegate the Cape side to the National First Division after just one season in top flight football.
Vasco finished 15th on the Premier Soccer League standings last season which meant they had to contest in a four-team playoffs to regain their spot in the country’s premier division.
The playoffs involve a two-legged semifinal as well as a final that is also played over two legs, unfortunately for Vasco they fell at the first hurdle to the team they beat in last year’s playoffs to gain promotion.
The Cape side came into the match with a slight advantage after drawing the first leg 1-1 away from home on Wednesday.
Vasco were the first to score when their captain Keenen Lesch scored with a header in the 20th minute from a Josephy Kamwendo’s cross.
Leopards found the equaliser nine minutes later when Edgar Manaka completed the good work displayed by captain Mongezi Bobe with a cool finish to make it 1-1.
The Limpopo side went ahead four minutes into the second half with Bobe turning the provider again to set up striker Rodney Ramagalela who made no mistake and put Leopards in the driving seat.
Any chance of Vasco staging a late comeback to turn things around were crushed in the 85th minute when Ramagalela netted his second of the match to send Leopards to the playoffs final and condemn Vasco to the first division.
Leopards will wait until after tonight’s match between Bay United and Thanda Royal Zulu to know their opponents for the playoffs final where a winner will be promoted to the Premier Soccer League.-PSL