Black Leopards kept their excellent run of form under new coach Dylan Kerr going as they came from behind to grab a 1-1 league draw against Golden Arrows at Thohoyandou Stadium on Saturday night.
With the stands packed close to capacity and the atmosphere electric throughout, the supporters in Limpopo were treated to an action-packed match, which saw Mwape Musonda’s sensational 85th-minute overhead kick cancelling out Lerato Lamola’s 53rd-minute opener.
The visitors had the opening chances of the game as Seth Parusnath’s eighth minute pile-driver was tipped over the bar by Leopards keeper King Ndlovu, before Danny Venter struck the outside of the post with a crisp strike soon after.
The hosts had good reason to feel hard done by in the 16th minute when a free-flowing move ended with Khuliso Mudau calmly passing the ball into the net, only for the goal to be ruled offside in what replays suggested was the wrong call.
Lidoda Duvha threatened again on the half-hour mark when Musonda’s bicycle kick went close, although it was Arrows who ended the half on top as Lamola and Knox Mutizwa both tested Ndlovu.
There had been very little to choose between the teams when Arrows took the lead eight minutes after the interval, Lamola bundling the ball home from close-range after Mutizwa’s shot had rebounded off the upright.
Stung by the setback, the Limpopo team came storming back.
It took a fantastic reflex save from Abafana Bes’Thende keeper Nkosingiphile Gumede to keep Musonda’s deflected free kick from finding the net, before Lehlogonolo Masalesa turned well in the box, only to have Gumede dive across to make a great save.
For a while, Komphela’s men found a way to pacify the Leopards attack.
But as the game moved into the final 15 minutes, the hosts ramped up the pressure, and Musonda was to make it count in the most spectacular fashion when for the second time in the match, he executed an acrobatic overhead, and this time, the ball flew in at the near-post.
Both teams had late chances for a winner as two Leopards players on the Arrows line both failed to get a touch to Lesedi Kapinga’s inviting cross, while at the other end, Lamola took too long to pull the trigger from 15 yards out.
The draw, though, was a fair reflection of a riveting night’s action as Leopards extended their unbeaten run to five games, while Arrows haven’t lost in three.
African News Agency (ANA)