Result: Kaizer Chiefs 1-0 Black Leopards
Date: 10 August 2019
Venue: Moses Mabhida Stadium
Erick Mathoho was the hero once again as Kaizer Chiefs maintained their winning start to the Absa Premiership season with victory over Black Leopards.
Goalkeeper Bruce Bvuma hurt himself in the warm-up and was replaced at the last-minute by Nigeria international shot-stopper Daniel Akpeyi.
With ten minutes gone, Lazarous Kambole latched on to Chris Katjukua's wayward defensive header but skewed his effort wide of the left-hand upright.
Soon after, Chiefs took the lead. Lebogang Manyama won the corner after good work down the right-hand side. George Maluleka whipped in an excellent delivery which was powerfully headed home by Erick Mathoho.
In the 22nd minute, Maluleka delivered another telling corner to the back post for Leonardo Castro, who headed narrowly wide of the left-hand upright.
Soon after, Leopards midfielder Tshwarelo Bereng was played through down the left-hand side with Akpeyi coming off his line and Bereng missed the target from an acute angle.
With five minutes to go before half-time, Leopards frontman Lifa Hlongwane spotted Akpeyi off his line and attempted a lob, which just missed the target.
Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp opted for a change at the start of the second half as Leonardo Castro was taken off at half-time and replaced by Dumisani Zuma.
Lidoda Duvha started the second half on the front foot, dominating possession. But Chiefs had the first decent attempt after the interval in the 57th minute when Bernard Parker swung the ball in to the box and Nurkovic chested it down in to the path of Mathoho, whose right-footed volley went narrowly wide of the right-hand upright.
With 20 minutes to go, Amakhosi broke quickly on the counter-attack and Reeve Frosler delivered in to the box with the ball finding its way to the back post to Parker, who tried to shoot from an acute angle when he should have crossed with the effort missing the target comfortably.
Manyama had a glorious opportunity to double the lead in the 75th minute but was denied by Leopards goalkeeper Jonas Mendes, who made a brilliant save with his legs.
Maluleka then hit the crossbar with an effort from outside the box with five minutes to go and despite not getting the second, Chiefs came away with the three points
Here's how they lined up:
Chiefs: 43. Akpeyi, 36. Ntiya-Ntiya, 3. Mathoho, 4. Cardoso, 39. Frosler, 12. Maluleka, 26. Parker, 21. Manyama, 9. Nurkovic, 7. Kambole, 8. Castro.
Subs: 44. Bvuma, 13. Katsande, 2. Mphahlele , 26. Gordinho, 28. Zuma, Mashiane, 5. Baccus.
Leopards: 1. Mendes, 8. Matlaba, 33. Katjiukua, 29. Masia, 13. Zulu, 4. Khutlang, 25. Mokoena, 6. Madau, 17. Hlongwane, 28. Malajila, 15. Bereng.
Subs: 22. Ndlovu, 12. Kapinga, 14. Phala, 21. Zulu, 23. Ndawonde, 30. Mhlongo, 31. T.Ndlovu.