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Koapeng: Leopards clash now like a cup final

Cape Town – Platinum Stars striker Letsie Koapeng is determined to help the Absa Premiership strugglers beat Black Leopards in the promotion/relegation play-offs.

Dikwena were handed a lifeline when Ajax Cape Town were relegated for fielding Tendai Ndoro this season, giving Stars a chance to compete in the play-offs instead of suffering automatic relegation.

However, they desperately need a win against Lidoda Duvha on Saturday after losing 1-0 to them away from home and drawing 0-0 with Jomo Cosmos on Wednesday.

"This match against Leopards is probably our cup final. It's crucial that we get three points. This game carries the same weight as a cup final because we know that if we lose, our aim to remain in the Absa Premiership will be as good as over," Koapeng told Sowetan.

"We must fight like soldiers. We understand the magnitude of this encounter. Leopards beat us [1-0 a fortnight ago] at their home turf, so we have every reason to fight back. We are positive that we can still win these play-offs. We must win all the two remaining matches at all costs."

He added: "It may look like we lack hunger and that drive but honestly I think it's an issue of confidence. We are in a position where everyone is afraid to make a mistake and take risk.

"If you take risk and it does not work out, you don't want to be at fault. We limit ourselves because we lack confidence."

Stars are at the bottom of the promotion/relegation play-offs standings with one point from their first two games.

Kick-off is at 15:00.

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