Khuliso Mudau of Black Leopards and Banele Sikhondze of City (right) wrestle to win the ball.
Black Leopards started their Absa Premiership campaign on a high note, following their 1-0 victory over Polokwane City at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Saturday evening.
A combination of City’s former Black Leopards players, Jabulani Maluleke and Rodney Ramagalela, was a thorn in the side of the Leopards defenders.
Mwape Musonda, Leopards’ sharpshooter, could not live up to the fans' expectations as he was well contained. City enjoyed more ball possession in the first 10 minutes of the game, but things changed soon afterwards.
Leopards’ left winger, Xolani Ndlovu, was brought down just outside the box 12 minutes into the game. Karabo Tshepe took the shot and beat the City keeper, George Chigova, with a half volley. The ball hit the woodwork and crossed the goal line.
Marvin Sikhosana of City was the first player to be cautioned with a card. He found himself on the wrong side of the football laws after tackling Xolani Ndlovu in a rough manner in the 19th minute.
City came close to scoring in the 37th minute. Banele Sikhondze forced his way through the defence of Leopards and dished a square pass to Ramagalela, who was in a perfect scoring position. Instead of relaxing on the ball and picking his spot, Ramagalela unleashed a volley. The ball went far wide.
Leopards replaced their frontrunner, Joseph Mhlongo, with their slender striker, Ivan Mahangwahaya, in the 64th minute. Mahangwahaya combined well with Mwape Musonda and Karabo Tshepe at the forefront. Leopards played defensive football for about 15 minutes after the replacement. That gave the City defenders a chance to advance to the centre of the pitch.
The visitors from Thohoyandou missed two clear chances towards the end of the game. Ivan Mahangwahaya and Mwape Musonda shot wide one after the other.
Leopards played against Highlandspark at the Makhulong Stadium in Thembisa yesterday. The results of the match were not available at the time of our going to press.
Date:09 August 2018 - By: Frank Mavhungu
Frank is a Human Resources Manager at the Department of Public Works in Limpopo. He is the longest serving correspondent of the Mirror, having joined us at the end of 1990. He mainly writes sports reports and resides at Tsianda Village. In 2004, Frank won the National Castle League Award, an award for the best reporter in the SAB league in South Africa.