Black Leopards bow out of top-flight football with a draw

The Limpopo club were held to a 1-1 stalemate by Bloemfontein Celtic on the final day of the 2020/21 season at Thohoyandou Stadium on Saturday.

Leopards will play GladAfrica Championship football next season after finishing bottom of the league standings, in a campaign that yielded a mere five wins in 30 matches. Celtic finished the season in 11th spot.

Lidoda Duvha got off to a perfect start in Thohoyandou. Wiseman Maluleke won the ball back in a promising position before teeing up Rodrick Kabwe in space - the Zambian didn't need a second invitation to shoot from range - and his left-footed shot whistled past Celtic goalkeeper Mondli Mpoto and into the roof of the net with 11 minutes on the clock.

The hosts, though, were unable to end the season with a win as Celtic hit back in the 73rd minute. Minutes after emerging off the bench, Reagan van der Ross found himself in acres of space inside the penalty area and he made no mistake with a thumping finish to level the score.

That is how it ended in Thohoyandou as Leopards now start to prepare for life in South Africa's second tier.

Black Leopards (1) 1 (Kabwe 11')

Bloemfontein Celtic (0) 1 (Van der Ross 73')

Black Leopards: Muleka; Khumalo (Mashoene 28'), Masia, Douhadji, Makobela, Masalesa (Ndlovu 76'), Maluleke (Abubakar 70'), Kabwe, Karuru, Mathenjwa (Khutlang 77'), Anas (Thutlwa 69').

Bloemfontein Celtic: Mpoto; Ngobeni (Matjila 90+3'), Mahashe, Chabalala (Lingwati 90+3'), Baloyi, Mashikinya, Phalane, Njoti (Ndwandwe 66'), Potsane (Ncobeni 83'), Mabena, Letsoalo (Van der Ross 72').