Black Leopards claimed an impressive 2-0 victory over Orlando Pirates in a DStv Premiership match at the Thohoyandou Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The victory took Lidoda Duvha to the 13th spot on the league standings, while the Buccaneers remained fifth on the table.
Lidoda Duvha were the better side in the opening stages with Rodney Ramagalela forcing Bucs goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands into a fine save just two minutes into the game.
The Buccaneers defence looked shaky and they nearly conceded when defender Innocent Maela’s headed effort hit the crossbar and the ball went out for a corner-kick.
Maela then scored an own-goal from the resultant corner-kick when he headed past Sandilands to make it 1-0 to Pirates a minute before the half-hour mark.
Lidoda Duvha looked dangerous whenever they pushed forward and they managed to double their lead after some good move by Ovidy Karuru.
Karuru set-up Roderick Kabwe, who then scored with a well-taken shot to make it 2-0 to Leopards with the visitors’ defence at sixes and sevens in the 40th minute.
Pirates were then forced to make a change after Ntsikelelo Nyauza went down injured and he was replaced by Happy Jele, and the score was 2-0 to Leopards at halftime.
The Buccaneers dominated the match after the restart with coach Josef Zinnbauer having introduced Terrence Dzvukamanja.
The Zimbabwe international had a chance to pull one back in the 49th minute, but he headed wide of the target without troubling King Ndlovu in the Leopards goal-posts.
Coach Dylan Kerr made a double substitution just after the hour-mark as he introduced Mumuni Abubaker and Lefa Hlongwane.
Hlongwane tried to make an immediate impact, but his effort was well-saved by Sandilands, who was well-positioned to make a save in the 67th minute.
Pirates launched late attacks as they looked to pull one back and push for the equalising goal, but they were frustrated by Leopards’ resolute defence.
However, they were left vulnerable at the back and Mohammed Anas was set-through on goal twice in the closing stages and he was brilliantly denied by Sandilands on both occasions.
The late saves ensured that the match ended in a 2-0 victory in favour of Leopards, who ended their five-match winless run in the league.
Black Leopards (2) 2 (Maela 29′, Kabwe 40′)Orlando Pirates (0) 0TEAMS:
Black Leopards: K.Ndlovu, Makobela, Mashoene (Khumalo 82′), Gyimah, Masia, Mthethwa, Maluleke (Abubaker 63′), Karuru (Anas 86′), Makgetlwa (Hlongwane 63′), Kabwe (Ononogbu 86′), Ramagalela.
Orlando Pirates: Sandilands, Jooste (Dzvukamanja 46′), Maela (Mntambo 78′), Hlatshwayo, Nyauza (Jele 42′), Motshwari, Makaringe (Dlamini 78′), Lorch, Hotto, Pule, Mhango.© Backpage TXT