Highlands Park's Mothobi Mvala celebrates scoring the opening goal with teammate Lesenya Ramoraka during their Absa Premiership match against Polokwane City at Makhulong Stadium, Tembisa on Sunday. Photo: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

TEMBISA – Highlands Park sent a clear reminder that they are a team to watch this season when they defeated second-placed Polokwane City 2-0 at the Makhulong Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The result lifted Highlands into fifth position on the log standings.

Polokwane got the game off to a quick start, with Jabu Maluleke making things happen. He had an early chance, but his effort sailed wide of goal.

At the other end, Highlands had their dangerman in Peter Shalulile. The striker has been in good form of late, but when presented with a chance, he couldn't find the target. Salulani Phiri then could have given Polokwane the lead with a good header, but his attempt was wide.

Highlands hit back and they, too, had a great chance, but Sphiwe Mahlangu couldn't make the most of the opening. The home side had another good chance, but Lindokuhle Mbatha's shot was saved by Polokwane goalkeeper George Chigova.

In the 23rd minute, though, Highlands' pressure finally paid off as they took a 1-0 lead with a goal by Mothobi Mvala.

Shalulile could have increased Highlands' advantage in the 35th minute, but, again, he steered his attempt wide.

Polokwane should then really have equalised when Maluleke fired a superb strike, but Highlands goalkeeper Thela Ngobeni was able to make the save.

Just before halftime, Polokwane had another chance to level, but Sibusiso Mbonani's effort was saved by Ngobeni.

A minute into the second half, Polokwane made two substitutions as they looked to bring some energy to their attacking play - Themba Chauke replaced Edgar Manaka and Walter Musona came on for Sibusiso Hlubi.

The good opportunities, though, continued to come the way of Highlands, with Mvala, Shaune Mogaile and Mahlangu all failing to make the most of their chances.

For Polokwane, there were openings too, in a game that often swung from end to end, with Puleng Tlolane and Nicholas Motloung missing the target.

Highlands, though, had the last laugh as they closed out the game at 2-0 to seal all three points when Shalulile fired an unstoppable into the net in the 90th minute.

African News Agency (ANA)