Jomo Cosmos saw their dreams of playing top flight go up in smoke following a 1-0 defeat by Black Leopards on Wednesday afternoon.
Black Leopards thus secured their promotion to the Absa Premiership after a hard-fought victory.
A jam-packed Thohoyandou Stadium was agog with ecstatic fans rooting for the home side, and it took only 25 minutes for Lidoda Duvha to break the deadlock when Karabo Tshepe shot home from close range.
Moments later, Sphesihle Nzimande was presented with a golden chance to tie the score after Tebogo Makobela’s goal-bound shot was deflected, but the striker missed target.
Nzimande got another opportunity midway through a tense second half period, but saw his pinpoint header palmed away by Leopards goalkeeper
Cosmos later rang some changes that saw Tebogo Tlolane, Lefa Hlongwane and Ismail Mgunda coming in to pose constant threats to the Leopards back line, but the hosts held on for their most significant win of the 2017-2018 campaign.
The victory took Leopards’ points haul to an unassailable eight in the mini-league Play-offs contest, leaving Cosmos and Platiunum Stars with two points apiece.
Cosmos welcome Platinum Stars on Saturday as both sides face off in a dead-rubber final fixture in Vosloorus Stadium.