LEOPARDS FIGHT BACK TO DENY SUNDOWNS

Black Leopards came back to hold Mamelodi Sundowns to a 1-1 draw in the DStv Premiership match at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Sunday evening.

The draw saw Masandawana open a four-point lead at the top of the league standings, while Lidoda Duvha remained 16th on the log.

Masandawana got off to a dream start as they broke the deadlock just 10 minutes into the match through Mosa Lebusa after Lidoda Duvha failed to clear their lines.

Lebusa headed home Lyle Lakay’s well-taken corner-kick to make it 1-0 to Sundowns as the left-footed central defender netted his maiden league goal of the season.

The hosts continued to search for more goals after taking the lead and they had a golden opportunity to double their lead after Themba Zwane was sent through on goal.

However, the Bafana Bafana international was brilliantly denied by Leopards goalkeeper Jonas Mendes from a one-on-one situation in the 13th minute.

Zwane was tormenting the Lidoda Duvha’s with his unpredictable movement and he hit the woodwork in the 34th minute and Lebohang Maboe was denied by Mendes from the follow-up.

Leopards were then able to contain the defending league champions, who were leading 1-0 during the halftime break.

Zwane continued to unsettle Lidoda Duvha’s defence after the restart and he forced Mendes into a fine save after the reigning PSL Footballer of the Year had combined with Gaston Sirino.

However, Leopards improved as the second-half progressed and they began containing the likes of Sirino and Zwane, who was replaced by Khuliso Mudau in the 63rd minute.

The visitors pushed for the equalising goal and they managed to restore parity with 10 minutes left on the clock with former Sundowns forward Rodney Ramagalela grabbing an assist.

Roderick Kabwe was the man, who beat Sundowns goalkeeper Denis Onyango with a decent finish to make it 1-1 after a good move by the visitors.

Sundowns then pressed Leopards in the closing stages of the encounter, but the visitors’ defence stood firm and ultimately, the match ended in a 1-1 draw.

Sundowns (1) 1 (Lebusa 10′)

Leopards (0) 1 (Kabwe 80′)

Sundowns: Onyango, Lebusa, Lakay, De Reuck, Coetzee (Modiba 73′), Morena, Jali, Maboe (Makgalwa 69′), Mkhulise (Mkhuma 64′), Sirino (Domingo 69′), Zwane (Mudau 63′).

Leopards: Mendes, Makobela, Khumalo (Mashoene 46′), Nthatheni (Masia 24′), Gyimah, Abubakar (Mokoena 85′), Mthethwa, Ramagalela, Karuru (Anas 83′), Makgetlwa, Ononogbu (Kabwe 46′).

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