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Sphiwe Mahlangu of Highlands Park and Khuliso Mudau of Black Leopards during the first round match of the Absa Premiership match played at Makhulong Stadium on August 09. Picture by Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images)

WHEILE it has become the norm for two teams that gain promotion to the Absa Premiership to be relegated the very same season, Black Leopards and Highlands Park have gone against the recurring trend during the 2018/19 campaign.
The season has been a good one for the newly promoted sides, which meet in the Woza Nazo ‘Battle of the Newcomers’ at the Thohoyandou Stadium on Sunday afternoon (3:30pm). Both teams seem destined for survival at the end of the campaign owing to their exciting and fearless displays against more experienced teams in the Absa Premiership.
The thrilling 2-2 draw back in August still lingers in the minds of fans from both teams as Lidoda Duvha broke the hearts of The Lions of the North, coming from two goals down to earn a credible point at the last minute in Makhulong. The clash comes at a time when the hosts are looking to end their three-match winless run in the Absa Premiership while the visitors from Tembisa are fresh from upsetting log leaders Bidvest Wits in their last league outing.
Leopards, currently 12th on the log standings, can close the gap between them and 9th-placed Highlands to two points with a win on Sunday.
Mtunzi Jonas, Absa Head of Sponsorships, said: “Our Absa Premiership Woza Nazo derbies have won the hearts of many fans across the country and we’re excited to visit a town that has seen some of the most passionate fans in the country. The return of Leopards to the league has been greeted by unbridled admiration from their passionate fans who pack Thohoyandou stadium for every home game. We encourage fans of both teams to “Bring Their Voice” now more than ever on Sunday to back these newcomers. Absa will still be there every step of the way to ensure we provide soccer fans with unique and life-changing experiences as they bring their passion, song and dance on the grandstands.
“Through our Kick-For-A-Million competition, Absa is positively impacting football in South Africa as will be witnessed in Thohoyandou. We are investing in the fans and giving them a reason to come back to the stadiums in their numbers. We look forward to a thrilling second round Battle of the Newcomers”.
Ahead of the big match day, Absa, title sponsors of the Absa Premiership, will have two roadshows in Thohoyandou starting with the Venda Plaza on Friday, 22 February (3pm-5pm) and at the Thavhani Mall on Saturday, 23 February (11am-1pm).
Football fans and the community of Thohoyandou will have an opportunity to meet Absa Premiership legends Mulondio Sikhwivhilu and Phumudzo Manenzhe, take photographs with the sought-after Absa Premiership trophy, win tickets to the Woza Nazo ‘Battle of the Newcomers’, as well as win Woza Nazo merchandise.
Absa will provide 500 fans who received Absa Red Tickets at the mall activations with a Woza Nazo hamper on match day. The hamper will consist of Woza Nazo merchandise, snacks and refreshments. The Woza Nazo hamper collection station on match day will be located at Gate C, VIP Entrance at the Thohoyandou stadium.
In addition, the ‘Battle of the Newcomers’ will see the league sponsors secure the 8th finalist of the Kick-For-A-Million competition, the consumer competition which continues to change soccer fans lives since its inception last season.
To be part of the Absa Premiership Woza Nazo conversation, follow #AbsaPrem #WozaNazo on social media.

Absa Premiership Woza Nazo Battle of the Newcomers Activations:

Friday, 22 February: Venda Plaza, Thohoyandou 3pm – 5pm

Saturday, 23 February: Thavhani Mall, 11am – 1pm

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