Black Leopards came from behind to defeat Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM) 2-1 in a 2020-21 DStv Premiership match at Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday evening.
Lidoda Duvha remain in 16th spot on the league standings, but they are now just four points behind 15th placed Vhadau Vha Damani, as the battle to avoid relegation continues.
Lidoda Duvha dominated the Limpopo derby encounter from the first whistle and they looked especially dangerous from set-pieces, which were delivered by eventual man-of-the-match Roderick Kabwe.
Kabelo Masiya’s header hit the upright from close range, before the Leopards defender was denied by Tshakhuma goalkeeper Washington Arubi after he connected with a Kabwe’s corner-kick.
However, Masiya committed a penalty at the other end after he fouled Celimpilo Ngema in the box and Alfred Ndengane converted the resultant spot-kick to hand Tshakhuma a 1-0 lead in the 42nd minute.
Lidoda Duvha then piled some pressure on Vhadau Vha Damani’s defence and the visitors were awarded a free-kick in a promising area in first-half stoppage time.
Kabwe then stepped up and the Zambia international beat Arubi hands down with a curling effort from the set-piece to level matters at 1-1.
Lidoda Duvha started the second-half brightly and they managed to take the lead for the first time on the night after some good work by Rodney Ramagalela down the right flank.
The experienced forward’s cross was parried by Arubi and the ball fell kindly for Sanele Mathenjwa, who headed home from close range to make it 2-1 to Leopards in the 56th minute.
Leopards had a chance to extend their lead after Ovidy Karuru rounded Arubi, but the Zimbabwean attacker hesitated and the Tshakhuma defence recovered to clear their lines.
The momentum was with Vhadau Vha Damani in the closing exchanges and Lehlohonolo Nonyane hit the woodwork with a well-taken free-kick with Leopards keeper Jonas Mendes well-beaten.
The visitors were then able to contain the hosts in the dying minutes of the game and in the end, Leopards emerged 2-1 winners over Tshakhuma.
Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (1) 1 (Ndengane pen. 42′)
Black Leopards (1) 2 (Kabwe 45’+4, Mathenjwa 55′)
Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila: Arubi, Lukhubeni, Ndengane, Madhanaga (Ndlondlo 53′), Nonyane, Ravhuhali, Rakhale (Bereng 81′), Manaka (Rantie 60′), Ngema, Mnyamane (Lamola 60′), Nevhulamba.
Black Leopards: Mendes, Sampson (Matsimbi 88′), Mashoene (Khumalo 88′), Masia, Gyimah, Maluleke (Abubakar 76′), Mthethwa, Ramagalela, Mathenjwa (T.Ndlovu 76′), Karuru (Karuru 82′), Kabwe.