Chippa United moved four points clear of the drop zone with a 3-0 victory over Black Leopards in DStv Premiership action on Saturday afternoon.
Goalkeeper Jonas Mendes returned for Leopards as did Sibusiso Khumalo, Onyedikachi Ononogbu and Ovidy Karuru from the loss to Cape Town City, while Augustine Kwem skippered Chippa.
Leopards were eager to hit the ground running from the get go and closed-in on 15 minutes when a header from a free-kick by Edwin Gyimah rattled the post.
However, it was the Chilli Boys who would go on to draw first blood five minutes later after Andile Mbenyane picked up a ball outside the area before going on to apply a composed finish.
It was exactly three minutes before halftime when Chippa increased their tally after a cross from the left-side by Peter Maloisane allowed Maloisane Mokhele to charge and head home.
Lidoda Duvha emerged for the second half renewed, as a rasping shot from Roderick Kabwe following a free-kick deflected behind the visitors’ goal.
It became an uphill battle for Dylan Kerr’s boys five minutes from the restart with Gyimah sent packing for a rash challenge around the final entry of the field.
A double substitution from the Chilli Boys followed in the midway stage of the second half, as Kurt Lentjies replaced Kwem and Isaac Nhlapo removed for Sandile Mthethwa.
Mokhele should’ve had a brace inside the last 15 minutes from a one-on-one with their opposite number Mendes, but was unable to profit.
The third did indeed arrive for Chippa when a swift counter-attack picked out Lentjies, who needed no second invitation for two goals in two games.
Leopards targeted a consolation in the closing minutes of the match, but the Chilli Boys held their nerve to bag the victory.
Leopards: Mendes, Makobeloa, Khumalo, Gyimah, Masia, Mthethwa, Maluleke, Ononogbu, Karuru, Makgetlwa, Kabwe.
Subs: K.Ndlovu, Mashoene, Abubakar, T.Ndlovu, Thutlwa, Hlongwane, Ramagalela, Nthatheni.
Chippa: Mtshali, Nsabiyumva, Damons, Hanamub, Nhlapo, Mdlinzo, Konqobe, Mokhele, Mbenyane, Maloisane, Kwem.
Subs: Watenga, Mogakwe, Mthethwa, Dinge, Cezu, Sibeko, Lentjies, Eva Nga Bienvenu, Laffor