Vilakazi sinks Leopards

Sibusiso Vilakazi © Backpagepix

A first half brace from Sibusiso Vilakazi handed Black Leopards their eighth loss of the league season after Bidvest Wits beat them 2-1 in an Absa Premiership match at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Sunday afternoon.

It was the perfect start for the Students who took the lead as early as the third minute and showed no signs of missing their usual goal scorer Ryan Chapman who missed the match due to suspension.

Sifiso Myeni set up the goal with a sublime through ball which penetrated the middle of the Leopard’s defence and left Sibusiso Vilakazi with just the keeper to beat. The Wits man showed some great composure as he rounded the keeper before side-footing the ball home from 12-yards out, 1-0.

Still, despite going behind early on, Leopards were not disheartened and set their stall out in attack in order to find an equaliser, which they did in the 21st minute.

Nkosiyabo Xakane did brilliantly attacking down the left flank before supplying a pin-point cross to find Thabo Mongalo inside the 18-yard area. The Leopards man showed real class with his clinical finish, his ten-yard header finding the left-hand corner of the net, 1-1.

Eleven minutes later and Leopards were unlucky not to take the lead when Mongalo struck the crossbar with a six-yard header at the front post after latching onto a Luyolo Mapolisa corner-kick.

Sadly, for Leopards, after going within inches of taking the lead, they found themselves trailing four minutes later when Sibusiso Vilakazi found his second goal of the match.

The goal was set up by the persistent individual run of Patrick Phungwayo who made his way into the box, beating three defenders, before he was dispossessed of the ball. The loose ball, however, fell to the unmarked Sibusiso Vilakazi who fired his side in front from six-yards out for the second time in the match, 2-1.

And only a fantastic save from Postnett Omony kept Sibusiso Vilakazi from grabbing his hat-trick seconds before the half time whistle when he got down low to his left to palm away an 18-yard thunderbolt from the Wits attacker.

The second half did not live up to the billing of the first stanza and was in fact a rather dreary and dull 45 minutes. It was a half characterised by some poor passing and bad decision making in the final third of the field by both teams.

Neither keeper’s goal was really threatened in the second half as Wits tried to soak up the pressure and Leopards were unimaginative in attack. Consequently, the match ended 2-1 in favour of Wits who move up to eighth on the table while Leopards remain second from bottom.

Black Leopards (1) 1 (Mongalo 21’)
BidVest Wits (2) 2 (Sib. Vilakazi 3’+36’)

Teams

Leopards: Omony; Taaibos, Mabusela, Nyrienda, Xakane, Bobe (Kwena 59’), Masuku, Mabunda, Mapolisa (Madimba 60’), Mongalo, Ramagalela (Mkhatha 72’)

Wits: Murambadoro; Mngomezulu, Mabizela, Gumede, Phungwayo, Langwe (Jayiya 56’), Timm (Masalesa 69’), Sib. Vilakazi (Fredericks 89’), Sibande, Myeni, Sif. Vilakazi