PROMOTIONAL PLAYOFFS - MATCH 2 PREVIEW

BLACK LEOPARDS vs STELLENBOSCH FC

The second of six matches in the Promotional Playoffs will be played at the Thohoyandou Stadium on Saturday 03rd June 2017 and pitch 2nd placed NFD side Black Leopards against 3rd placed NFD side Stellenbosch FC.

Both sides have previously played in the PSL and will be keen to leap back into South Africa’s top flight. The two sides have met 14 times in the past including Playoff encounters in both the 2009/10 and the 2010/11 seasons. Leopards have 8 wins to the 4 wins of the visitors. Stellenbosch FC did a season double in the NFD in the past regular season over Lidoda Duvha.

Winners of the Inland Stream of the NFD in 2000/01, Lidoda Duvha were promoted to the PSL. After seven seasons in the top flight, Leopards finished 15th in the 2007/08 season, lost to Bay United (now Polokwane City) in the Playoffs and were again relegated to the NFD. Two seasons later, Leopards won the Inland stream of the NFD, lost to Vasco da Gama in the playoff final, beat African Warriors in the semifinals of the Playoffs but lost on penalties to Aces in the final to remain in the NFD.  The very next season Leopards finished behind Jomo Cosmos in the Inland Stream of the NFD to again make the Playoffs. After beating Vasco da Gama (now Stellenbosch FC) in the semifinals they again met Bay United in the final, and this time Leopards were victorious, and were back in the PSL. Unfortunately their second stay in the PSL was shorter than their first and having finished 16th and last in the 2012/13 were once again relegated to the NFD where they have been since. Leopards finished 2nd in the NFD in 2013/14, but finished 2nd to Polokwane City in the Playoffs to stay in the NFD.

Stellenbosch FC were known as Vasco da Gama when they won the coastal stream of the NFD in the 2009/10 season beat Black Leopards in the Playoffs to earn promotion to the PSL. That promotion only lasted one season as Vasco finished 15th in the PSL and were again involved in the Playoffs. Once again their opponents were Leopards and Vasco lost 2 – 4 and were relegated back to the NFD. Lidoda Duvha had proved to be a bit of a bogey side in 2010/11 to Vasco as they also beat the Cape side in the Nedbank Cup. Vasco da Gama are no more having changed their name to Stellenbosch FC and they have another chance to make the big time over the next month.