Following their unsatisfactory one-all draw at the Seshego Stadium in the first leg of the promotional play-off, Black Leopards coach Sunday Chidzambwa is resolute that his side is still very much in this tie going into the second leg on Saturday.
“Oh yes. I believe we are still in this. Despite not winning today (Wednesday), I feel we can still go to Cape Town and get a good result.” said the Lidoda Duvha mentor.
Black Leopards squandered numerous scoring chances, especially in the second stanza and the former Free State Stars coach believes that this is one area of their game they need to work on if they are to cause an upset in the Mother City.
“We need to make sure that we utilise the chances that come our way,” said the coach.
“One of our strategies will be to get an early goal and unsettle them. In that way it will give us an opportunity to go on and win the game.” he concluded.
Meanwhile, Vasco Da Gama is well-placed to progress to the final after they got an away goal, courtesy of substitute, Jerome Ramatlhakwana.
Vasco coach, Carlos Das Neves was pleased with the result as it puts his side in a very favourable position going into the second leg on Saturday.
“Look we are obviously happy with today’s (Wednesday) result. It is like last year’s outcome and if we can make sure that we stick to our game plan we should be fine.” said the former Hellenic midfielder.
The second leg between the two sides will take place at the Cape Town stadium and kick-off is at 3:00pm.
Botswana star Jerome Ramatlhakwana scored 10 minutes from full-time to salvage a 1-1 draw for Vasco da Gama against Leopards on Wednesday.
Captain Mongezi Bobe put South African FA Cup runners-up Leopards ahead from a 34th-minute penalty at Seshego Stadium in northern city Polokwane and Ramatlhakwana levelled soon after replacing Malawian Josephy Kamwendo.
The other semi-final, first leg match was also drawn with hosts Thanda Royal Zulu and Bay United failing to score in a drab game at coastal town Richards Bay, north of Durban.
Vasco and Bay have home advantage in the return matches on Saturday and the winners advance to a two-leg decider next week with a place in the richest national football championship on the continent at stake.
Premiership clubs are guaranteed R12,6 million a year from a monthly grant funded by television rights and there are several other revenue-generating avenues available to the 16 participants.
Vasco were forced into the play-offs after finishing second-last in the 2010-2011 Premiership season while Leopards, Thanda and Bay are second-tier clubs with previous top-flight experience.
Cape Town-based Vasco battled on a bumpy pitch despite touches of class from former South African star Sibusiso Zuma and Leopards had a goal disallowed before Breslyn Hempe handled a close-range shot to concede the penalty.
Zuma set up the equaliser by retaining possession near a corner flag before passing to Roberto Santo and his cross was met by Ramatlhakwana, whose header flew across the goal, past Azwindini Maphaha and in at the far post.