Mwape Musonda of Black Leopards
Sunday Mar 10, 2019. 18:35
Black Leopards come from two goals down to defeat Chippa United 3-2 in a key Absa Premiership match at Thohoyandou Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Mwape Musonda scored a hat-trick for Lidoda Duvha, who remain in 12th place on the log but have opened a five-point buffer between themselves and the relegation zone. The Chilli Boys remain in 15th on 20 points.
Chippa were very lucky not to go down to 10 men within the opening quarter hour, after Ruzaigh Gamildien – who had picked up an early caution – was guilty of a studs-up challenge on Tshwarelo Bereng but not shown a second yellow card.
Leopards very nearly claimed the lead just past the midway point of the first half, with Mwape Musonda showing some good movement to pick up a clever pass from Elton Kapinga, before sending a shot flashing across the face of goal.
Chippa, against the run of play, broke the deadlock in the 26th minute. Andile Mbenyane provided a perfectly-weighted pass for Thabo Rakhale, who then chipped the ball over the onrushing goalkeeper for a fine finish and a 1-0 lead.
The goal sparked Leopards into a sustained spell of pressure, but they were hit on the counter attack in the 40th minute. Rakhale went from goal scorer to provider, pulling a good ball back from the by-line to pick out Lerato Manzini, who stroked home a shot to make it 2-0 to the Chilli Boys.
Lidoda Duvha were rewarded for their attacking play in injury time before the interval, with Musonda able to sweep home a shot after Chippa failed to clear a corner kick, leaving the score 2-1 in favour of the Eastern Cape side at the break.
Chippa had the chance to restore their two-goal advantage early in the second half when left-back Tebogo Tlolane was tripped up in the area by Marks Munyai, earning a penalty. Gamildien took on the spot kick but saw his effort brilliantly saved by King Ndlovu.
They were made to pay for that miss in the 57th minute when Leopards substitute Joseph Mhlongo played a great pass for Musonda to run onto and fire home a low shot – 2-2 on the day and an 11th league goal of the season for the Zambian.
Musonda’s 12th goal – and a hat-trick in the match – arrived in the 61st minute when the striker got up highest to meet a free kick and powered a header into the top corner. The goal saw Leopards take the lead for the first time at 3-2.
Chippa threw on the likes of Rhulani Manzini and Tebogo Makobela in an effort to get back into the game, but they were unable to create another opening with which to test Ndlovu in the remaining minutes.
Black Leopards (1) 3 (Musonda 45+3’ 57’ 61’)
Chippa United (2) 2 (Rakhale 26’, Manzini 40’)
Leopards: K. Ndlovu, Munyai, Munganga, Ndou (Masia 68’), Zulu, Masalesa, Nange, Bereng (Mhlongo 51’), Kapinga, Hlongwane (Sekotlong 79’), Musonda
Chippa: Mzimela, Macheke, Nsabiyumva, Shitolo, Tlolane, Komane, Malama (Malepe 79’), Rakhale, Mbenyane (Makobela 63’), Gamildien (R. Manzini 65’), L. Manzini