TEMBISA – Two late goals by Themba Ndlovu and Mwape Musonda ensured that Black Leopards went back home to Venda with at least a point in a 2-2 draw with Highlands Park on Thursday.
Two well-taken volleys by Luckyboy Mokoena and Ricardo Williams looked to have secured all the spoils for Highlands Park in a sold-out encounter at Makhulong Stadium on Women’s Day.
Home side Highlands Park came into this encounter high on confidence after their 1-1 draw to Orlando Pirates in their opener.
And on Thursday, they wanted to redeem themselves by getting at least a couple of shots on target, considering that they had none against Pirates.
In the opening stages, the Lions of the North kept Lidoda Duvha’s defence busy, but they couldn’t penetrate enough and reach Muleka Rotshidwa’s goal.
With their build-up play not giving them the desired outcomes, they resorted to taking shots from outside the box, and that proved to work like a charm.
Captain Mothobi Mvala’s long-range shot rebounded into the path of an on-rushing Mokoena, who needed no second invite as he unleashed a thunderbolt volley that came off the upright before going over the line.
This was Mvala’s first appearance after serving a suspension against Pirates.
His combo with Ryan Rae brought stability in the heart of Highlands Park’s midfield as they could easily complement each other, thus giving Siphiwe Mahlangu and Siphesihle Zwane free roles upfront.
Most importantly, Mvala and Rae partnership was also the first line of defence that kept danger-man Musonda at bay.
The team from Thohoyandou will be disappointed with Thursday’s outing, especially after a flying start when they beat Polokwane City 1-0 in their opener.
Rae Ryan Man OF The Match pic.twitter.com/tDluUJa6By
Goal-scorer Karabo Tshephe received little service against Highlands, especially with his ability to take on players and eye for goal.
With fans having seen enough and making their way out of the stadium, Williams got on to the end of Ricardo Versuur’s assist to volley home the second Highlands goal.
But in added time, Ndlovu and Musonda had other ideas as they secured a dramatic point.
The few shots that Highlands Park delivered might well prove just how much they miss their top goal-scorer Peter Shalulile, who’s out with an injury.