Goals from Sphesihle Nzimande and Thabo Rakhale handed Polokwane City a 2-0 win over Milano United in a promotion/relegation play-off match at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Milano started the brighter of the two teams and created their first chance on goal in the third minute when Lesvin Stoffels met a low corner-kick at the front post in the third minute, but his cheeky flick hit the side-netting.
After that Polokwane took control of the possession stakes, but failed to break down a resilient Milano defence, largely due to some poor passing and bad decision making in the final third.
Polokwane’s first effort on goal only came in the 26th minute when Nzimande tried his luck from 20-yards out, but his powerful volley sailed just wide of the target.
Six minutes later the home side came closest to breaking the deadlock after a goalmouth scramble at a corner-kick saw Vukile Mngqibisa poke the ball goalwards from a couple of yards out, but he saw his attempt cleared off the line by Taariq Fielies.
In the 36th minute a lapse in concentration by the Polokwane defence afforded Milano a good chance to score when Moegamat Jacobs met a deep cross from the right, but his 12-yard header went narrowly wide of the target.
That was the last significant chance of the half as the match entered the break goalless.
The second half continued in the same fashion as the first with Polokwane laying siege on the Milano goal.
Finally, in the 68th minute Polokwane found the back of the net through Nzimande who volleyed the ball home from roughly 12-yards out after latching onto a cross form the right wing, 1-0.
Polokwane put the result beyond doubt ten minutes later when Thabo Rakhale found his side’s second goal with an expert finish after being put in space 16-yards out from goal, 2-0.
The win for Polokwane sees them up to seven points in the mini-league playoffs, four ahead of second place Black Leopards while the loss for Milano ends their hopes of promotion.
Polokwane City (0) 1 (Nzimande 68’, Rakhale78’)
Milano United (0) 0
Polokwane City: Marumo, Molekwane, Tema, Mngqibisa, Tshilo, Sibande, Tloane, Moyana, Nzimande (Mthimkhulu 92’), Maluleke, Jembula (Rakhale 60’) (Mthimkhulu 92’)
Milano United: Goldman, Robertson, Phete, Sait, Hendricks (Hills 46’), Fielies (Burds 79’), Theron, M. Jacobs, Motha (A. Jacobs 72’), Stellenboom, Stoffels