Result: Black Leopards 0-1 Polokwane City
Date: 4 August 2019
Venue: Thohoyandou Stadium
A single goal from Sibusiso Mbonani saw Polokwane City squeeze past Black Leopards as they registered their first three points in 2019/20 Absa Premiership season with a 1-0 win.
The opening half produced very little in terms of real goal-mouth action with both teams squandering possession in key areas on the field.
The home side saw more of the ball, but they failed to make their pressure count as they struggled to break down a resolute Polokwane defence and resorted to shooting from long range with very little success.
The home side were made to pay for their squandering of chances when Polokwane took the lead a minute before the break courtesy of a clinical strike from Mbonani, 1-0.
Leopards came out firing at the start of the second half as they pushed the pace and the home side came close to scoring on the hour mark when Lifa Hlongwane broke through on goal, but he was thwarted by the Polokwane keeper.
Ten minutes later, Lesedi Kapinga also went close to finding the back of the net, but his 18-yard shot ricocheted off a defender and shaved the wrong side of the post.
After long spells without any real action, Thabo Matlaba drove forward and cut inside from the left flank before unleashing a pile-driver, but his powerful effort was brilliantly saved by the Polokwane keeper with 10 minutes remaining.
Leopards pushed players forward in the final ten minutes, but Polokwane’s defence stood firm as they picked up their first win in the 2019/20 Absa Premiership season in their first game.
Here is how they lined-up.
Leopards: 1 Mendes, 8 Matlaba, 33 Katjiukua, 29 Masia, 13 P Zulu (17 Hlongwane 58’), 14 Phala (30 Mhlongo 67’), 25 Mokoena, 15 Bereng (20 Ngele 72’), 12 Kapinga, 31 T Ndlovu, 21 S Zulu.
Subs: 22 K Ndlovu, 5 Abubakar, 17 Hlongwane, 6 Mudau, 20 Ngele, 23 Ndawonde, 30 Mhlongo.
Polokwane: 1 Chigova, 24 Hlongwane, 22 Mbonani, 27 Motloung, 2 Mvelase, 16 Mngomezulu, 14 Manaka, 8 J Maluleke, 4 Nene, 11 Hlubi (18 W Maluleke 88’), 9 Mashumba.
Subs: 50 Phali, Nthatheni, Nku, 6 Chauke, 18 W Maluleke, 29 Mphambaniso, 31 Wagaba.