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CLUBS STRUGGLE TO BEAT LIMPOPO CLUBS

GONE are those days when other Absa Premiership clubs used to go to the province of Limpopo and collect some easy points, Writes NAKAMPE LEKWADU.
In recent weeks, clubs from outside the province found it difficult to beat Limpopo sides such as Black Leopards and Polokwane City in League matches.
This weekend, Leopards forced a 1-1 draw against the visiting Golden Arrows who came blazing in a search for the much needed points in this entertaining clash played at the soaked Thohoyandou Stadium on Saturday night.
Playing under the new coach, Steve “Koloi / Mr Oxford Dictionary” Khomphela who was in his third match in charge of Abafana Be’Sthende, the visitors looked dangerous every time they visited Lidoda Duvha’s goal-mouth but they found it difficult to crack the hard like a nut solid defense of Lidoda Duvha.
Leopards (now 11th on the log with 20 points from 17 outings) hung on to dear life through to the first half despite Arrows’ good attacking tactics.
Arrows finally managed to see the back of the net, a courtesy goal of Lerato Lamola in the 53rd minutes, and from there the opposite goalkeepers were kept busy as both clubs were attacking and counter attacking to each other but no goals came forth.
Just as Arrows were preparing to pop-up their champagnes in celebrating their away victory, little did they knew that Mwape Musonda had a different ideas as the Zambian star did unthinkable, scoring a heart-stopping equalizer with only four minutes remaining that saw the Thohoyandou Stadium coming back to live. Mwape’s goal saved Leopards’ embarrassment of surrendering a defeat at home, and on the same time taking the Zambian international to the top of score-chart with 8 goals.
This was Leopards’ third back to back unbeaten run at home after having won their last two matches at the Thohoyandou Stadium, a 3-1 over AmaZulu (2017 December 15) and 2-0 over SuperSport United on January 12.
Meanwhile this afternoon (Sunday, January 20), Polokwane City denied log leaders, BidVest Wits an opportunity of stretching their lead in the Absa Premiership when they held them to a 3-3 draw in an explosive match played at the old Peter Mokaba Stadiu.
Rise and Shine (6th on the log with 27 points from 17 matches) have themselves to blame though, this after they took an early two goals lead within the first 28 minutes of the match (Bongile Booi 23rd minutes and Sammy Seabi 28th) but lapse in concentration made them to pay dearly as the Clever Boys regrouped and scored two quick goals within three minutes, a brace by Gift Motupa in the 35th and 38th minutes to force the match into 2-all at break.
The second half produced a goal apiece with Wits scoring via Thulani Hlatswayo in the 61st minutes with City equalizing through their skipper and Man of the Match on the day, Jabulani Maluleke who was a the Polokwane side’s live-wire all throughout the match. Earlier in the year, on January 5, City also denied the visiting AmaZulu the maximum points when they beat Usuthu 3-2 in a five goals thriller.

My ball my ball…Golden Arrows’ Limbikani Mzava and Karabo Tshephe of Black Leopards chases the ball during the Absa Premiership match between the two at the Thohoyandou Stadium on Saturday night. Picture by Philip Maeta/Gallo Images)

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