Highlands Park and Black Leopards’ search for the first victory of the 2019/20 Absa Premiership season continues after the sides played to a 1-1 draw at Thohoyandou Stadium.
Lidoda Duvha made made two changes from their narrow loss to Kaizer Chiefs, as Thuso Phala and Lesedi Kapangi were brought to the attack on either wing.
The hosts were threatening to go ahead in the opening exchanges and Lesedi Kapinga came the closest in the 11th minute, as his strike from the edge of the box was brilliantly kept out by goalkeeper Thela Ngobeni.
The visitors were soaking up the pressure and keeping their shape at the back after the half-hour mark, frustrating Leopards. However. The Lions of the North pounced on the stroke of halftime as Sphiwe Mahlangu headed home from close range following a long throw-in by Ryan Rae.
Leopards were combining well going forward after the break and they eventually levelled matters seven minutes inside the second stanza, as Kapinga unleashed a well hit shot from just outside the box that snuck in at the near post.
Soccoia made his first change just after the hour-mark by bringing on Joseph Mhlongo in place of Phala while Owen Da Gama also reacted moments later by introducing Wayde Jooste in place of Sabelo Nyembe for fresh legs on the left wing.
Themba Ndlovu almost gave Leopards the lead 15 minutes before time with a header at the near post, that missed narrowly towards the bottom post, following a corner before Ngobeni's redeemed himself to deny Ndlovu after a poor clearance.
The game was on the edge in the closing phases with both sides searching for the winner but they settled for the share of spoils in the end, with Leopards getting their first point of the season.
Leopards: Mendes,Matlaba, P. Zulu, Katjiukua, Masia, Mokoena, Mudau, Phala, Malajila, Hlongwane, Kapinga.
Subs: Muleka , Mumuni , Ndou , Ndlovu, S. Zulu , Bereng , Mhlongo.
Highlands: Ngobeni, Mokoena, Munyai, Fransman, Rae, Williams, Mahlangu, Mvala, Shalulile, Mogaila, Nyembe.
Subs: Etafia, Mkhabela, Jooste, Mbunjana, Msane, Motlafi, Ndoro.