Bevan Fransman of Highlands Park (left) and Lifa Hlongwane of Leopards are focused on the ball.
“Not many teams will play Black Leopards in Thohoyandou and come out alive,” was the first thing the coach of Highlands Park FC, Mr Owen da Gama, said in an interview after their Absa Premiership League game against Black Leopards at the Thohoyandou Stadium last Sunday.
Lidoda Duvha and The Lions of the North played to a goalless draw.
Da Gama said that his side were lucky to go back to Thembisa with a point in hand. He added that he had told his defenders not to allow the Leopards’ top goal scorer, Mwape Musonda, to touch the ball within the box and they did exactly that. Musonda, who was later replaced with Joseph Mhlongo, was well contained.
Da Gama praised the management of Black Leopards for playing Marks Munyai on Sunday, even though he had already signed a pre-contract with Highlands Park, saying the move was a clear indication that Leopards regarded Munyai as a professional player who could not betray them.
Leopards' coach, Mr Dylan Kerr, had mixed feelings about the game. He stated that he was impressed by the fact that his players had displayed a superb performance throughout the game. The fact that the team had squandered several obvious scoring chances was, however, a thorn in the flesh to him.
He stressed the fact that his players continued to pressure the visitors even after they were reduced to 10 men. Lidoda Duvha played the last 20 minutes of the game with 10 men. This after their allrounder, Khuliso Mudau, saw red after a second bookable offence.
The Thohoyandou side are in the 13th position on the log with 21 points, following the draw. Highlands Park are still in the ninth spot with 26 points.
Leopards’ striker, Lifa Hlongwane, was nominated Man of the Match and he was presented with a trophy after the game.
Date:28 February 2019 - 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.