Leopards earn crucial points

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Johannesburg - League strugglers Black Leopards stunned Maritzburg United with a 1-0 win in their rain-delayed encounter in Pietermaritzburg on Wednesday night.

Raymond Monama struck in the 55th minute to give Leopards their fourth win in 21 Premiership games this season.

The match was suspended after three minutes, due to persistent rain, but after a break of more than 30 minutes, officials opted to continue where they had left off.

Cuthbert Malajila took the first shot in anger for Maritzburg, sending his effort harmlessly over the bar in the 13th minute.

The hosts, however, were put on the back foot early on, though Leopards struggled to convert.

United goalkeeper Shu-Aib Walters was slightly troubled by a couple of tame efforts in the first 20 minutes, first by Vincent Mabusela, from a free kick, and then Rodney Ramagalela.

Maritzburg hit back in the closing stages of the first half, with Leopards’ Azwindini Maphaha keeping out a free kick from Kurt Lentjies and an effort from David Booysen.

Ramagalela wasted an opportunity in first-half injury time, with Walters again standing firm, as the sides were left all square at the break.

Ten minutes into the second half, Ramagalela set up Monama who found the back of the net from inside the area.

Walters was again forced into action midway through the second period, saving a shot from Kingston Nkhatha.

In search of the equaliser, Maritzburg came close with eight minutes left, but Wayne Matle fired a header over the bar.

Leopards nearly stretched the gap further, with Maphaha blocking another effort from Lentjies in additional time, and the visitors, flailing in the relegation zone, bagged three crucial points. - Sapa


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