Black Leopards booked their spot in the last 16 of the Nedbank Cup with a 2-1 victory over GladAfrica Championship side Jomo Cosmos on Sunday afternoon.
Leopards rang the changes from their heavy defeat against TS Galaxy, as shot-stopper Rotshidzwa Muleka was handed his first start of the season alongside recalls for Edwin Gyimah, Mumuni Abubakar, Tiklas Thutlwa and Lifa Hlongwane.
Sanele Gumede came close to giving Ezenkosi a dream start inside the first minute after cutting inside from the right wing but his curling effort was smothered by Muleka.
Moeketsi Sekola broke away on a counter-attack for the hosts with ten minutes left of the first stanza and charged his way on the left side of the box but his effort across goal was parried away by Muleka.
Leopards continued to pressurise Ezenkosi coming from the break as Hlongwane had a chance to break the deadlock in the 62nd after attacking a cross with a diving header inside the six-yard box but the ball came off his upper body and sailed wide.
Siyabonga Nkosi had a great chance to give Cosmos the lead with 18 minutes left after going through on goal at the near post just after coming on but his thumping effort hit the side-netting.
Ovidy Karuru finally broke the ice for Leopards in the last eight minutes after turning his marker before find the back of the net with a low strike past goalkeeper Romanus Igidimba.
However, Khethukuthula Zwane quickly levelled matters for Sono's men a minute later with a strike a cross goal from the centre of the box that found the far corner.
Karuru snatched the winner for Lidoda Duvha in the last two minutes with a close range header after a headed pass by Kenneth Nthatheni to complete his brace, as Leopards held on in the end to book a spot in the last 16.
Cosmos: Igidimba, Ndlovu, Versuur, Matona, Ndlovu, Gcaba, Sangare, Sono, Gumede, Sekome, Sekola.
Subs: Ramadivhane, Rapatsinyana, Lekeno, Phindela, Nkosi, Mahlangu, Ndlovu, Koapeng, Zwane.
Leopards: Muleka, Makobela, Mashoene, Nthatheni, Gyimah, Abubakar, Makgetlwa, Ramagalela, Karuru, Hlongwane, Thutlwa.
Subs: K.Ndlovu, Masia, Khumalo, Mokoena, Ononogbu, Matsimbi, Khutlang, Anas, Carrim.