Black Leopards secure first win

Black Leopards have secured their first win of the new Absa Premiership season after they defeated Maritzburg United 1-0 at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Wednesday night.

Lidoda Duvha secured the victory thanks to a goal late in the first half from Lesedi Kapinga, as well as a late penalty save from their goalkeeper. The Team of Choice, meanwhile, are still waiting for their first three-pointer of the 2019/20 campaign.

After a quiet start to the match, Maritzburg created the first clear chance on 21 minutes, with Daylon Claasen picking out Judas Moseamedi in the penalty area, only for the striker to be denied by a fine save from Leopards goalkeeper Jonas Mendes.

The hosts came close to an opening goal again in the 33rd minute, with Daniel Morgan curling a long-range shot just wide of the target, and shortly thereafter Moseamedi’s flick-on found Siyanda Xulu at the back post but his half-volley was straight at the ‘keeper.

It seemed only a matter of time until a goal arrived, but it came in favour of Leopards and against the run of play in the 42nd minute, with forward Lesedi Kapinga capitalising on some space left by the home side’s defence to slot a low shot beyond the reach of Richard Ofori.

Maritzburg pressed hard through the second half for an equaliser, and sent on the likes of Micah Lea’alafa, Bandile Shandu and Bongokuhle Hlongwane from the substitutes’ bench, but Leopards remained resilient in defence.

The Team of Choice finally had a chance to level the game with just under 12 minutes remaining when Moseamedi had a penalty (awarded for a hand-ball in the Leopards 18-yard area), but goalkeeper Mendes saved the spot kick to secure victory.

The teams will only return to competitive action midway through next month. Leopards will be at home to Baroka in a Limpopo derby on September 15, while United must wait until September 21 for their trip to Mamelodi Sundowns.

Maritzburg United 0

Black Leopards (1) 1 (Kapinga 42’)

Maritzburg: Ofori, Allie, Xulu, Morgan, De Reuck (Hlongwane 58’), Mngonyama, Ntshangase, Classen (Lea’alafa 75’), Buchanan (Shandu 54’), Moseamedi, Fileccia

Leopards: Mendes, Matlaba, Masia, Katjiukua, P. Zulu, Phala (Mhlongo 62’), Mokoena, Mudau, Hlongwane, Kapinga, Mwape