By NAKAMPE LEKWADU
BLACK Leopards’ participation in the CAF Confederations Cup has forced the Premier Soccer League to rescheduled league fixtures for the remainder of the season.
The first match involving Lidoda Duvha, the country’s only representatives in the CAF competition is that one away to Jomo Cosmos which was scheduled for April 28 at Sinaba Stadium in Daveyton and has since been moved to May 16 at the same venue.
Also Leopards’ affected match is the one at home (Giyani Stadium) against the high-ridding Moroka Swallows which has been rescheduled from its original date, May 2 to May 4 at the same venue with their other match away to BidVest Wits at the BidVest Stadium (moved from May 12 to May 8)
The league has also rescheduled two more matches which were affected after the Nedbank Cup match between AmaZulu v Ajax Cape Town was abandoned. The matches involve AmaZulu v Jomo Cosmos which has since been rescheduled for May 9 at the Princess Magogo Stadium with the one involving Kaizer Chiefs v Ajax Cape Town being rescheduled for was scheduled for Jomo Cosmos Ajax Cape Town Peter Mokaba Stadium on the same day.
Meanwhile Leopards’ battle to avoid relegation will continue this Saturday when they welcome AmaZulu. Kick-Off at the Giyani Stadium is at 3.pm.
The Limpopo side put together a string of three straight wins from March into early April that lifted them out of the danger zone at the bottom of the table, but taking just one point from their next two outing means they are still very much in danger of being drawn back into the bottom two.
Leopards narrowly lost at home to Mamelodi Sundowns before showing real fighting spirit to come from two goals down to draw 2-2 away to Free State Stars in midweek. Coming away from Charles Mopeli Stadium with a point, especially after seemingly being down and out in the game, was a great result for coach Vladislav Heric and his charges.
Now they will look to draw on the determination they showed in that game in order to overcome AmaZulu, a team that is in good form recently after winning four of their last seven league games, including a 1-0 victory over Durban derby rivals Golden Arrows in midweek.
Usuthu are placed eighth and determined to retain their spot in the top half of the table, though they lead ninth-placed Bloemfontein Celtic on goal difference only, so they cannot afford to slip up if they are to keep their noses in front of the Free State side.
As far as head-to-head stats are concerned, Leopards and AmaZulu have met just nine times in top flight league football. There have been zero draws between the teams, with Lidoda Duvha claiming five wins and Usuthu four. Both sides have racked up 12 goals against one another. The Limpopo side has a good home record against their KwaZulu-Natal counterparts, with three wins from four matches.
When the teams met earlier this season in Durban, Leopards claimed a valuable 1-0 away win thanks to a goal from Luyolo Mapolisa. Lidoda Duvha will be looking to complete a second league ‘double’ over Usuthu, having first achieved this feat in 2003/04.-Additional report by www.psl.co.za