Black Leopards got back to winning ways in th DStv Premiership with a 2-1 victory away to Golden Arrows on Tuesday evening.
Velemseni Ndwandwe, Zolani Nkombelo and Lungelo Dube came in as Arrows’ changes from the win over Stellenbosch FC, while Mohammed Anas and Lifa Hlongwane were re-called for Leopards.
Abafana Besthende were dealt a blow seven minutes in when Nkosinathi Sibisi collided with goalkeeper Sifiso Mlungwana and was subsequently stretchered off for Gladwin Shitolo.
This inspired Leopards to surge forward rapidly thereafter and bombarded Mlungwana’s goal with a near post shot from Tsepo Matsimbi and a close-range header by Tumelo Khutlang.
Arrows began to come alive just before the half-hour mark and had goalkeeper King Ndlovu going on to produce a one-hand palm from a back-heel attempt by Ndwandwe.
However, Lidoda Duvha made their earlier dominance count 12 minutes to halftime when Anas reacted quickly to a thumping shot off the crossbar by Hlongwane to head into the near corner.
Abafana Besthende looked for an inspired start to the second half as Dube made way for Lindokuhle Mtshali and Seth Parusnath for Nduduzo Sibiya.
This intervention from Mandla Ncikazi nearly paid dividends ten minutes from the break with a flowing move from the right, but Michael Gumede failed to profit from the back-post.
Lehlohonolo Seema’s side began to sit deep towards 70 minutes and paid the price when Gumede back-heeled a loose ball in the area past Ndlovu.
Abafana Besthende finished the match with ten players in the last 15 minutes when Pule Mmodi got a straight red card for a poor challenge.
With a numerical advantage, Leopards seized initiative at the death with a curling strike from Anas to end their five-match losing streak and moved up to 15th spot.
Arrows: Mlungwana, Nkombelo, Sibisi, Zuke, M.Dube, Mmodi, L.Dube, Ndwandwe, Parusnath, M.Gumede, Mutizwa.
Subs: Sibanda, Sabelo, Ndlovu, Phiri, Mtshali, Shitolo, Sibiya, Mathiane
Leopards: Ndlovu, Matsimbi, Mashoene, Nthatheni, Gyimah, Aubabakar, Mthethwa, Ramagalela, Anas, Hlongwane, Khutlang
Subs: Muleka, Masia, Khumalo, Mokoena, Thutlwa, Kabwe, Makgetlwa, Karuru