Black Leopards fought back from a goal down against Ajax Cape Town in order to continue the dream of PSL survival with a 2-1 win at home
With Black Leopards sitting three points behind the Urban Warriors in 15th on the PSL standings, a win was vital for the home side in order to help stave off relegation.
The home side’s woes looked set to continue when Ajax Cape took the lead after 19 minutes as Abia Nale beat Posttnet Omony at his near post. But Black Leopards were able to fight back and deep in the second half Michael Nkambule struck a powerful effort past Sander Westerveld to put the match on equal terms.
Just when the match seemed destined for a draw, perennial goal-scorer Rodney Ramagelela pounced on a loose ball in the box and netted the winner for Black Leopards.
Played in front of a sparse crowd, the encounter struggled to come to life as both teams battled for possession early on.
But with ten minutes on the clock Ajax danger-man Khama Billiat sparked Omony into action, with the Leopards goalkeeper keeping out a powerful drive from Zimbabwean international.
The Urban Warriors continued to search for the opener and in the 19th minute, Abia Nale squeezed the ball past Omony at the near post with a low shot, after an incisive turn and run into the box. The visitors had a vital lead in their battle for PSL survival.
The visitors dominance continued as Matthew Booth hit a vicious volley four minutes after the goal, which Omony had to punch away out of danger.
The goalkeeper was called into action once more when as Nale found himself clear on goal, but Omony closed the striker down with a brave block at the edge of the area.
Leopards were constrained to half-chances with Mongezi Bobe unable to turn a header towards goal from point-blank range in the final minutes of the first stanza.
A goal down and their PSL status slipping away from them, Black Leopards began the second half with intent, but their efforts were unrewarded in the opening ten minutes of the half.
Ajax looked determined to hold onto their lead, but lost their influential defender Matthew Booth to injury in the 59th minute.
The centre-back’s presence was immediately missed as Leopards almost found the equaliser a minute later, when a cross was tantalisingly headed across the face of goal by Sphamandla Sithole.
The home side continued pushing for the equaliser and Michael Nkambule provided his side with a shot which rifled into the back of the net via a slight deflection off an Ajax Cape Town defender.
Leopards held the momentum and looked set to find a winner late on. They continued to press and were finally rewarded when Rodney Ramagelela netted from close range, sending the players and the crowd into a frenzy.
With the victory, Leopards move onto the same points as Ajax Cape Town but stay in the relegation zone due to goal difference.