Mwape Musonda of Black Leopards (right) and Pilot Mthembu of Royal Eagles wrestle to win the ball.
Black Leopards gave their loyal supporters a memorable Christmas in the form of league points when they crushed Royal Eagles 2-1 at the Thohoyandou Stadium on Saturday.
Lidoda duvha took the game to the Kwazulu-Natal side from the first blow of the whistle, but their strikers were unlucky. Their Zambian speedy forward, Mwape Musonda, realized that it was not his day in the 14th minute. He intercepted a back pass and unleashed a volley from the edge of the box. The ball missed the target by inches, much to the fans’ disappointment.
The visitors gained momentum with time. Their lethal striker, Ntandoyenkosi Ngubane, was brought down within the box in the 24th minute. That prompted the referee, Mr Anwar Alexander, to award them a penalty. Sedwyn George, the team’s top goal scorer, made no mistake from the white spot.
This did not kill the Leopards’ original fighting spirit. They continued to fight like a team, with their midfielders, Ben Musaka and Morgan Shivambu, dishing out some telling passes to the strikers. The home side found the equalizer nine minutes before the half time whistle when Morgan Shivambu finished in a rebound following a heart-breaking scramble within the box.
The Eagles’ right back, Teshes Van Heerden, was warned with a card for tackling Ben Musaka in an illegal way.
The second half saw Black Leopards create numerous promising moves from the middle of the park in their search for the winning goal. Their efforts did not pass without a reward as they took the lead in the 64th minute. Morgan Shivambu completed his brace after the Eagles’ keeper, Joslaini Mayebi, mishandled the ball.
Both sides effected two changes in the last half, but that did not change the complexion of the game as Leopards continued to dominate. The Leopards keeper, Aubrey Mathibe, was warned with a card for faking an injury in the 78th minute.
Date:21 December 2016 - By: Frank Mavhungu
Frank is a Human Resources Manager at the Department of Public Works in Limpopo. He is the longest serving correspondent of the Mirror, having joined us at the end of 1990. He mainly writes sports reports and resides at Tsianda Village. In 2004, Frank won the National Castle League Award, an award for the best reporter in the SAB league in South Africa.