Black Leopards beat Limpopo rivals Polokwane City 1-0 in an Absa Premiership encounter at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday evening, in the opening round of the 2018-19 league season.
Karabo Tshepe scored the only goal of the game as Lidoda Duvha collected all three points on their return to South Africa’s top-flight.
The hosts, who were dealt a blow earlier this week after it was decided that the game would not be played at their preferred home in Thohoyandou, opened the scoring after 12 minutes.
Tshepe on hand to convert from a set-piece to send the Black Leopards fans into delirium.
Rise and Shine went in search of an immediate response and almost found one through Walter Musona, but he failed to convert a pin-point pass from Banele Sikhondze.
The duo continued to threaten following the break, but neither were able to convert as the Leopards defence held firm.
At the other end of the pitch, second-half substitute Ivan Mahangwahaya had two chances in quick succession to put the game to bed, but the forward failed to convert.
City threw bodies forward in the closing stages of the encounter in search of the equalizer, but it was not to be as Leopards claimed all three points.
Black Leopards (1) 1 (Tshepe 12′)
Polokwane City 0 (0)
Black Leopards: Muleka; Ndou, Mashoena, Munganga, Ndlovu (Mokoena 89′), Nange, Mudau, Nene, Musonda, Tshepe (Hlongwane 87′), Mhlongo (Mahangwahaya 77′).
Polokwane City: Chigova; Sikhosana, Hlongwane (Ravhuhali 81′), Motloung, Mbonani, Seabi, Ramagalela, Phiri (Maluleke 70′), Musona (Miya 75′), Maluleke, Sikhondze.