Phathutshedzo Nange of Black Leopards
Sunday Feb 24, 2019. 17:37
Black Leopards and Highlands Park played out a goalless stalemate in their Absa Premiership match at Thohoyandou Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Lidoda Duvha will probably be more satisfied with the result, having played a third of the game with just 10 men, and the points takes them up one place to 13th, while the Lions of the North remain in ninth spot on the table.
Highlands started very strongly and forced King Ndlovu into a notable save within the opening seconds of the match. The visitors went on to create further opportunities in the first few minutes, though they were unable to capitalise on their early dominance.
Leopards weathered the early storm and then began to boss the game on hole soil. Winger Lifa Hlongwane forced goalkeeper Marlon Heugh into a good, low save in the 12th minute, while later in the half he curled a long-range beyond the reach of the gloves-man, but saw the ball rebound off the upright.
Lidoda Duvha continued to look the better team through the remainder of the first half, but by the interval the score remained locked at 0-0.
Early in the second half Leopards continued their pressure in attack and Hlongwane was denied by the woodwork for a second time, striking the base of Heugh’s right-hand post after opening space for a shot just inside the box.
The momentum seemed to be with the home side, but they were reduced to 10 men just after the hour mark when midfielder Khuliso Mudau (who had just returned from a suspension) picked up a second yellow card for a dive and was sent for an early shower.
Highlands nearly took immediate advantage when Peter Shalulile’s low shot deflected off his teammate Mokete Mogaila and wrong footed King Ndlovu, but the ‘keeper recovered well. Ndlovu made another key save in the 68th minute when Mogaila broke free of the defence but was unable to beat the goal-minder one-one-one.
Leopards created some promising attacking moments despite their numerical disadvantage, while Highlands were unable to make the most of having a man extra, especially in the dying minutes of the match.
Black Leopards 0
Highlands Park 0
Leopards: K. Ndlovu, Munyai, Munganga, Ndou, Zulu, Mudau, Maselesa, Bereng (Nange 65’), Hlongwane, Kapinga (Mhlongo 70’), Musonda (Sekotlong 90’)
Highlands: Heugh, L. Mokoena, Fransman, Rae (Nyembe 85’), Ramoraka, Mvala, Mbunjana (Mbatha 65’), Motsepe (Haoseb 78’), Mahlangu, Shalulile, Mogaila