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Nurkovic Moves On To Double Figures As Chiefs Stumble At Leopards

Absa Premiership

Result: Black Leopards 1-1 Kaizer Chiefs

Date: 18 January 2020

Venue:  Thohoyandou Stadium

Samir Nurkovic's 10th Absa Premiership goal of the season was not enough to secure three points as they drew 1-1 with Black Leopards on Saturday afternoon.

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Amakhosi head coach Ernst Middendorp made two changes, as Yagan Sasman and Bernard Parker were both recalled while Leopards made wholesale changes, with the the likes of Thabo Matlaba, Robert Ng'ambi and Mwape Musonda returning to boost the side.

Chiefs had a bright start as Samir Nurkovic got the opening goal in the 12th minute with a glancing header that beat Leopards goalkeeper Jonas Mendes at the near post from Lebogang Manyama's corner.

Lidoda Duvha were fired up to get back to the game and after applying the pressure, they were awarded a free-kick on the half-hour mark on the edge of the box, which saw Mogakolodi Ngele curl home a superb strike for his first goal of the season.

Ngele almost gave Cavin Johson's charges the lead with seven minutes remaining of the first stanza after he went clear at the near post but Amakhosi shot-stopper Daniel Akpeyi produced a superb save to keep the scores level/

The momentum was spoiled by stoppages in the latter stages of the half, while Middendrop received a booking for entering the field after expressing his displeasure with a tackle on Mathoho.

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Leopards had to make a change immediately after the break as Ngele picked up an injury late in the first stanza and was replaced by Joseph Mhlongo while Middendorp made a tactical switch at the start of the second half after bringing on Kearyn Baccus for Sasman.

Chiefs were camping in Leopards' half in the first 15 minutes of the second stanza but they could not unlock the reinforced defence of Lidoda Duvha with their long ball approach.

However, the visitors were finding spaces after Dumisani Zuma came on for Parker with 20 minutes remaining and Leonardo Castro almost restored the lead for them with a header inside the box that missed slightly over the bar.

The Glamour Boys had a chance to restore their lead with ten minutes remaining after they were awarded a free-kick from just outside the box but Manyama ballooned his effort over the bar.

Chiefs kept on pressurising Leopards in the closing minutes and Manyama came close to snatching the winner deep in stoppage time with a deflected shot that nearly sneaked in at the top corner but the spoils were shared on the day.

Here's how they lined up:

Leopards: 1. Mendes, 6. Mudau, 13. Zulu, 29. Masia, 2. Gyimah, 5. Abubakar, 15. Bereng, 8. Matlaba, 20. Ngele, 27. Ng'ambi, 11. Musonda.

Subs: 32. Muleka, 19. Mncwango, 3. Ndou, 25. Mokoena, 9. Andrianarimanana, 12. Kapinga, 30. Mhlongo.

Chiefs: 40. Akpeyi, 36. Ntiya-Ntiya, 3. Mathoho, 4. Cardoso, 18. Moleko, 20. Sasman, 31. Katsande, 25. Parker, 21. Manyama, 8. Castro, 9. Nurkovic.

Subs: 32. Khune, 2. Mphahlele, 30. Ngezana, 6. Baccus, 19. Mashiane, 28. Zuma, 7. Kambole.

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