Leopards ambush Santos

Two early goals in the second half from Rodney Ramagalela and Thomas Madimba handed Black Leopards a 2-1 win over Santos in an Absa Premiership match at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Wednesday night.

While Eleazar Rodgers scored the consolation goal for Santos it was merely that as the loss saw them drop into the relegation zone while the win lifted the home side above the People’s Team on the log into 14th place.

The first 45 minutes was a half the home side dominated in terms of possession and dictating the terms of play on the pitch.

But despite their control, Leopards were poor in the final third of the field and the better chances of the half fell to the People’s Team.

The tone of the half was set early on as Nkosiyabo Xakane was booked in only the eighth minute of the match, resulting in the rest of the half being a tough and tumbling one, thus the referee producing four yellows in the opening Stanza.

From the Xakane foul, the free-kick provide the first real goal scoring chance of the half when Wayne Arendse rose highest to meet the Matthew Pattison cross, but he headed wide from six-yards out.

The next chance came 18 minutes later and was the result of another cross, this time Vuyisile Wana providing the accurate ball for Rodgers to get onto the end of, but he also missed the target with his 12-yard header.

Leopards’ first real shot on goal came in the 33rd minute, but it was a wayward effort from Madimba as his 25-yard thunderbolt sailed well wide.

Three minutes before the halftime whistle, Santos were bitterly unlucky not to go in front when Wana struck the woodwork with a 25-yard shot. His effort had the beating of the keeper, but hit the right-hand post and bounced away from danger.

The second 45 saw Leopards playing some decent passes in the final third and thus making their dominance in the possession stakes count.

Two minutes after the restart the home side were able to take the lead after a swift passing movement saw Ramagalela in some space ten-yards out from goal and he made no mistake with a clinical finish to give his side the lead, 1-0.

In the 55th minute Madimba scored a peach of a goal to double his side’s lead as he superbly volleyed home from 18-yards out, 2-0.

Santos, though, quickly hit back when they were awarded a penalty three minutes later after the referee adjudged Humphrey Khoza to have handled the ball inside the box.

Rodgers coolly stepped up and pulled a goal back for the visitors, 2-1, which made for a frantic final half hour.

Leopards tried to protect their lead and invited Santos to attack, and the People’s Team came close to levelling matters on a number of occasions.

In the 62nd minute, second half substitute, Riaan Eugene should have levelled matters when he got on the end of a Wana cross, but completely miscued his shot from six-yards out as it went well wide.

14 minutes later and Nasief Morris came extremely close to scoring the equaliser when he met a right-wing cross from Pattison. Morris, though, headed inches wide from only four-yards out.

In the end Leopards were able to hold onto the win and claimed a vital three points in the league which lifts them above Santos into 14th and thus dropping the People’s Team into the relegation zone.

Black Leopards (0) 2 (Ramagalela 47’, Madimba 55’)

Santos (0) 1 (Rodgers 58’)

Teams:

Leopards: Maphala; Dzaga, Khoza, Mabusela, Xakane (Sighoole 87’), Duiker, Monama (Manaka 73’), Bobe, Madimba, Ramagalela (Obaje 67’), Zulu

Santos: Touray; Ntloana, Wana, W. Arendse, Isaacs, Segalo (Eugene 59’), Rodgers, T. Arendse, Pattison, Morris, Skippers