Leopards overcome Usuthu


Black Leopards secured a 3-1 win over AmaZulu FC in an Absa Premiership match at the Thohoyandou Stadium on Saturday.

The win saw Lidoda Duvha climb up to 12th place on the league standings, while Usuthu remained 11th on the table.

The victory took Lidoda Duvha to 12th place on the league standings, while Usuthu remained 11th on the table.

The hosts were forced to make an early change just eight minutes into the game after goalkeeper Rotshidzwa Muleka went down injured and he was replaced by King Ndlovu.

Usuthu then took control of the match with Emiliano Tade, who had scored twice against Bloemfontein Celtic in midweek, looking lively upfront for the visitors.

The Argentine set-up Tapelo Nyongo and Ovidy Karuru, but both players missed the target from inside the Leopards box as AmaZulu searched for the opening goal.

Ndlovu was called into action in the 20th minute and he produced a great finger-tip save to deny AmaZulu’s Butholezwe Ncube, who was looking to score with a long-range shot.

The visitors were also forced to make an early change after Marc Van Heerden went down injured and he was replaced Xolani Slawula on the half-hour mark.

Leopards had a chance to break the deadlock just before the half-time break, but Mwape Musonda missed the target from close range with a header.

The score was 0-0 at the interval between Leopards and AmaZulu.

Both teams launched attacks after the restart and Ndlovu had to make to two saves to deny Tade, who was looking to score from outside the box.

The deadlock was finally broken on the hour-mark and it was the hosts who found the back of the net through Lefa Hlongwane.

Pentjie Zulu played a low cross into the AmaZulu box and Hlongwane fired past keeper Siyabonga Mbatha to make it 1-0 to Leopards, much to the delight of the home crowd.

AmaZulu head coach Cavin Johnson reacted by pulling out veteran forward Mabhuti Khenyeza and he introduced burly striker Bonginkosi Ntuli.

However, Leopards scored again when Khuliso Mudau set-up Tshwarelo Bereng, who beat Mbatha with a first-time shot to make it 2-0 to the hosts in the 78th minute.

Usuthu were able to pull one back nine minutes later when Ncube found Ntuli with a low cross and the latter hit the back of the net to make it 2-1.

It was end-to-end stuff as Leopards responded with a goal almost immediately at the other end when Musonda scored to seal the hosts’ 3-1 win over AmaZulu.

Leopards (0) 3 (Hlongwane 60′, Bereng 78′, Musonda 88′))
AmaZulu (0) 1 (Ntuli 87′)

Leopards: Muleka (Ndlovu 8′), Masia, Munganga, Munyai, Hlongwane (Kapinga 77′), Mudau, Zulu, Bereng, Masalesa, Tshepe (Mokoena 80′), Musonda.

AmaZulu: Mbatha, M.Gumede (Vilakazi 59′), P.Gumede, Van Heerden (Slawula 30′), Nyongo, Ncube, Morton, Darpoh, Karuru, Tade, Khenyeza (Ntuli 66′).

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