Leopards & Highlands Remain Winless After Stalemate
Result: Black Leopards 1-1 Highlands Park
Date: 24 August 2019
Venue: Thohoyandou Stadium
Black Leopards and Highlands Park remain without an Absa Premiership win this season after sharing the spoils at Thohoyandou Stadium on Saturday.
Former SuperSport United winger Thuso Phala earned a start for the home side, while Highlands full-back Marks Munyai lined up against his former employer.
With both sides pushing for the maiden win of the campaign, the game was being played at a high tempo as the likes of Thela Ngobeni and Jonas Mendes were kept busy in their respective goals.
Leopards eventually took control of the encounter as they went in search of an opening goal, but they struggled in the final third and were often restricted to efforts from distance.
However, it was Highlands who broke the deadlock three minutes before the halftime break as Ryan Rae's long-throw found Sphiwe Mahlangu, who took advantage of poor marking to nod past Mendes from six-yards out.
Leopards came out firing in the second half and found the equaliser six minutes in through Lesedi Kapinga's long-range strike that Ngobeni failed to stop at his near post.
With Highlands looking to hit back, head coach Owen da Gama opted for a change just after the hour hour mark as Sabelo Nyembe made way for last week's match-winner Wayde Jooste.
The hosts nearly profited from another defensive error from Ngobeni with 10 minutes remaining, but the highlands shot-stopper managed to get back on his line to make the save to keep his side in the game.
Both sides threw bodies forward in search of an equaliser in the latter stages of the second half, but they lacked quality in the final third as the encounter ended all square.
Here's how they lined up:
Leopards: 1. Mendes, 8. Matlaba, 13. Zulu, 33. Katjiukua, 29. Masia, 25. Mokoena, 6. Mudau,14. Phala, 28. Malajila, 17. Hlongwane, 12. Kapinga.
Subs: 32. Muleka , 5. Mumuni , 3. Ndou , 31. Ndlovu, 21. S. Zulu , 15. Bereng , 30. Mhlongo.
Highlands: 42. Ngobeni, 21. Mokoena, 19. Munyai, 5. Fransman, 24. Rae, 22. Williams, 40. Mahlangu, 14. Mvala, 38. Shalulile, 12. Mogaila, 11. Nyembe.
Subs: Etafia, Mkhabela, 27. Jooste, 8. Mbunjana, 98. Msane, Motlafi, 7. Ndoro.