Black Leopards captain Jean Munganga. Photo: Kabelo Leputu/BackpagePix

THOHOYANDOU – Black Leopards and Highlands Park slugged it out to a 0-0 draw in an evenly-contested Premiership match at a packed Thohoyandou Stadium on Sunday.

The draw was a fair reflection of a 90 minutes which wasn't by any means full of goalmouth action, although both teams did have their chances to claim maximum points.

On a hot afternoon, the first half was a rather lethargic affair with neither side able to hit top gear in attack and there were only a couple of scoring opportunities.

The first of those arrived directly from kick off as the visitors pumped a long ball forward and when it wasn’t cleared sufficiently, Peter Shalulile's well-timed volley drew a sharp save from home keeper Harold Ndlovu.

Leopards' first chance came on 11 minutes when Marks Munyai sprinted clear into the right-hand side of the box and pulled the ball back for Lefa Hlongwane, but from eight yards out he shot tamely at goalkeeper Marlon Heugh.

Hlongwane was, however, a lot closer to scoring eight minutes before the break when he picked up a loose ball 25-yards out and then struck a curling shot into the upright.

The game remained tightly contested after the interval, and with 62 minutes on the clock, the home side found themselves a man down after Khuliso Mudau picked up two yellow cards in five minutes and was sent off.

Suddenly the Lions of the North sniffed Leopards' blood and it took a great reflex save from Ndlovu, aided by the upright, to stop Shalulile's deflected shot from finding the net.

Ndlovu was called into action again with 66 minutes played when he stood tall to keep out a one-on-one shot from Mokete Mogaila after the Highlands winger had broken free down the right.

With the game now far more open, and entertaining, Lidoda Duvha also had opportunities, but couldn't take advantage as Phathutshedzo Nange and Mwape Musonda both missed the target with good chances.

The final 15 minutes saw both teams pressing for a winner, but some solid defending at both ends of the park meant there were no further clear-cut chances.

African News Agency (ANA)