Leopards take control in play-off race


Black Leopards took a big step towards retaining their top flight status with a 3-1 win over Tshakhuma Tsha Madzhivandila in the play-offs on Saturday afternoon.

Tshakhuma introduced two changes from the side that lost to Ajax Cape Town in Naeem Amoojee and Nkululeko Hlongo, whereas Robert Ng'ambi featured as Leopards’ only alteration.

Tshakhuma were cut open 20 minutes in after Mwape Musonda arrived unmarked at the back-post to head home a corner, moments after King Ndlovu tipped Amoojee’s powering strike over the top.

Lucky Khumalo was a whisker away from justifying his introduction nine minutes to the break after drilling agonisingly wide of the far corner of Ndlovu’s goal off a promising strike from outside the area.

Musonda thought he had secured a brace five minutes to halftime after tapping in a cross from the right by Tiklas Thutlwa, but he was flagged for offside.

Tshakhuma levelled matters minutes later after Thembisani Nevhulamba found space in the area to sweep Molibedi Mokoena’s delivery past Leopards goalkeeper Ndlovu.

The visitors regained the lead in the final minute of stoppage time as Isaac Masia outjumped a cluster of bodies in the area to head home a near post corner.

Khumalo once again threatened the goal of Leopards with another strong attempt from range ten after from halftime, but his effort flew over the top.

Tshakhuma missed a golden opening to draw level from a corner in the latter exchanges, but Ndabayithethwa Ndlondlo’s snap effort came off the top of the post.

Lidoda Duvha put the result to bed in added time after Musonda got ahead of his marker to head in off the underside of the bar.

Nevhulamba looked for some sort of consolation for his side minutes later, but Ndlovu parried from close-range as Leopards bagged consecutive wins in the promotional play-offs.

Starting line ups:

TTM: Mamudzidi, Mashele, Mabotja, Nyadombo, Thangwane, Amoojee, Mbandlwa, Hlongo, Ndlondlo, Mokoena, Nevhulamba.

Subs: Ramaele, Masegela, Makgoga, Moremedi, Dzaga, Khumalo, Mandlazi, Ndebele, Makhubu.

Leopards: K.Ndlovu, Mudau, Zulu, Masia, Ndou, Abubakar, Ng'ambi, Thutlwa, Matlaba, Makgetlwa, Musonda.

Subs: Mendes, Ndawonde, Douhadji, Modiba, X. Ndlovu, Mashoene, Mokoena, T. Ndlovu, Khutlang.