Leopards send Cosmos packing

The hosts enjoyed much of the possession and were the first to settle in the game as they also drew inspiration from their huge home support.

It took Lidoda Duvha only 12 minutes to find an opener when Siphelele Ntshangase scored when he beat goalkeeper Sherwin Naicker with a well-taken low shot. Morgan Shivambu with the assist.

A few seconds later, Jomo Sono’s charges nearly reacted immediately when Charlton Mashumba received a through ball, but Leopards goalkeeper Avhashoni Tshinuna was equal to the task.

Four minutes later, Ivan Mahangwaraya unleashed a rocket down the left flank but it was off target and not troubling Naicker.

Against the run of play, Cosmos had a chance in the 26th minute when Mashumba saw his effort tipped over by Tshinuna, however, the move was ruled offside.

After 30 minutes of play, Ezenkosi were forced to play in their own half as Zeca Marques’ men kept them on their back foot in search of a second goal.

With less than five minutes to go to the interval, Roggert Nyundu wasted a wonderful opportunity when Ntshangase set him up, following brilliant interplay between the two key men – his shot, though, sailed over Naicker’s posts.

At half-time the Thohoyandou-based side were leading by 1-0 and both sides came back approaching the game with caution, but the visitors showed confidence in their play with good passes.

However, Mahangwaraya doubled Leopards’ lead in the 54thminute after a great cross delivered by Lebohang Mabotja down the left, in a quick counter attack. The midfielder was unmarked inside the box and beat the keeper with ease, blasting his shot into the roof of the net.

Ezenkosi tried to move forward and even introduced the experienced Brice Aka to add speed and fire upfront, however, the hosts were stable and contained the visitors' attack.

With 12 minutes to go, Cosmos came close to pulling one back when Aka headed a cross from the right only to hit the upright, which allowed Tshinuna to collect comfortably.

Lidoda Duvha’s next game is against Marques’ former team Moroka Swallows, at the Dobsonville Stadium, where they’ll hope to take their tally to six points and boost their promotion ambitions.

Black Leopards XI: Tshinuna, King, Nyirenda, Ndou, Mabotja (Munyai 88’), Mahangwaraya (Ndebele 80’), Shivambu, Mumuni, Madimba (Maphangule 67’), Ntshangase, Nyundu

Jomo Cosmos XI: Naicker, Makobela, Mthembu, Nsabiyumva, Ralebakeng, Monare, Mokoena (Aka 56’), Maluleka (Ndzimandze 74’), Mntambo, Zulu (Madonsela 58’), Mashumba