Result: Polokwane City 2-1 Black Leopards
Date: 01 March 2020
Venue: Old Peter Mokaba Stadium
Polokwane City claimed the bragging rights in Limpopo derby at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Sunday afternoon, but the game will also be remember for a Black Leopards player refusing to take off his necklace before coming on.
Rise and Shine coach Clinton Larsen made three alterations from their win over Cape Town City, as Thabiso Semenya and Ayanda Nkili were recalled alongside Denis Chembezi. Meanwhile, Leopards brought back the tried and tested after the Nedbank Cup action, with the likes of Edwin Gyimah, Tshwarelo Bereng and Mwape Musonda returning to boost the side.
City were on the front foot in the early exchanges and should have been 1-0 up in the 12th minute after Salulani Phiri broke away free on the left side of the box but he dragged his shot wide.
Jalulani Maluleke also came close to breaking the deadlock for Polokwane in the 23rd minute after letting fly with a pile-driver from the edge of the box but Leopards shot-stopper Rotshidzwa Muleka was on hand to make the save,
Musonda found the back of the net four minutes before the break with a diving header inside the six-yard box but his effort was disallowed for offside as the first half finished goalless.
Alan Clark's men were creating chances early in the second stanza and were rewarded on the hour-mark after Nkili diverted Mogakolodi Ngele's cross into his own net.
Leopards' joy was short-lived though, as Charlton Mashumba levelled matters for City immediately from the restart with a powerful strike from the left side of the box that found the bottom corner.
Leopards were forced to make a change in the 72nd minute after Andiswa Ndawonde went down injured but the visitors played a few minutes with ten men after Xolani Ndlovu refused to take off his necklace on the touchline, but he was eventually let onto the field after the Leopards medical team covered his necklace with tape.
Sibusiso Hlubi produced a moment of magic in the last eight minutes after unleashing a thunderbolt that flew past Muleka to give Rise and Shine a precious lead.
Polokwane finished the game with ten men after substitute Kabelo Mahlasela received two quick yellow cards and he was sent off, but Rise and Shine held on in the end to go three points clear of the drop zone with back-to-back wins.
Here's how they lined up:
Polokwane: 40. Chibwe, 5. Chembezi, 27. Nkili, 34. Semenya, 4. Nene, 20. Phiri, 15. Musona, 32. Buthelezi, 8. J.Maluleka, 10. Tlolane, 9. Mashumba.
Subs: 1. Chigova, 23. Hlatshwayo, 6. Chauke, 11. Hlubi, 13. Mahlasela, 7. Booi, Myaba.
Leopards: 32. Muleka, 8. Matlaba, 6. Mudau, 29. Masia, 2. Gyimah, 5. Abubakar, 15. Bereng, Ndawonde, 11. Musonda, 20. Ngele, Kapinga.
Subs: Makinita, 3. Ndou, 19 Mncwango, 30. Mokoena, 27. Ng’ambi, 12. Khutlang, X. Ndlovu.