BLACK Leopards sealed their place in the Last 16 of the CAF Confederation Cup with a deserved 2-0 win over Nigeria’s Warri Wolves this afternoon.
The win at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane left the aggregate score at 3-3, but Leopards advance by virtue of having scored an away goal in Warri a fortnight ago.
Zimbabwean Kingston Nkhatha was the hero for the home side with a brace of goals, one in each half.
The first came via a free-kick. After a Wolves defender had handled the ball inches outside the penalty-area, Nkhtha picked his spot from the free-kick and found the bottom corner of the net.
Leopards goalkeeper Azwindini Maphaha made a superb reflex save to keep a Wolves header out in a rare foray forward for the visitors in the first half.
The all-important second goal arrived for Leopards midway through the second period when excellent build-up play saw Nkhatha receive the ball on the edge of the six-yard box and he applied the coolest of finishes.
The Zimbabwean should have had a third with 15 minutes to go, but his headed effort was inexplicably ruled out by the referee for a perceived foul on the defender. Replays showed there was no contact at all.
But the home side were able to hold on for a deserved win that takes them into the intermediate round of the competition, where the eight sides who have progressed through this tournament are joined by the eight second round losers in the CAF Champions League.
The draw for this round will be made on Tuesday, with the winners advancing to the group stages.