By NAKAMPE LEKWADU
BLACK Leopards’ fairy-tale on the African continent competition continued with a resounding 4-2 victory over the visiting Saint FC Lupopo this afternoon in a fast flowing match played at the Giyani Stadium in Limpopo.
Lidoda Duvha started this first leg last 16 CAF confederations Cup encounter like the house on fire despite the coach, Heric Vladislav’s decision to rest most of his key players such as captain, Mongezi Bobe, Postnet Ormony and Liyolo Mapolisa just to mention few.
Lupopo who were making their third visit to the country which saw them lifted the Vodacom Challennge in their first visit via a 1-0 over Kaizer Chiefs in 2002 before they could fail to defend the title in 2003 suffered some early night-mares as Leopards attacked them from the word go, and they came close to scoring as early as the first minute but only to be let down by Joshua Obaje who shot straight into the goalkeeper’s hands.
Humphrey Khoza showed him how it is done eight minutes late when he opened the score-board with a fine header after he connected a well taken corner-kick by Mahlatse Maake who was later replaced by captain, Mongezi Bobe after he sustained a knock.
Lupopo fought back and they leveled the matters in the 26th minute via Alexandru Obrica who beat Azwindini Maphaha with a volley. This was Obrica’s fifth goal for Lupopo since he joined them from Spanish side, Valencia FC
The goal though did not bother the determined Leopards who took the lead again in the 43rd minute via the same Khoza whose goal was the replica of his first goal, and this time after he finished off Bobe’s corner kick.
Obaje made it 4-1 a minute later after he connected with Bobe’s corner-kick, but his goal was disallowed as the referee adjudged him to have pushed Lupopo’s goalkeeper, however he later managed to pull one back in the 46th minute from a re-bounced ball.
Lupopo who were not going to give the game without a serious fight fought back like a wounded tiger and their effort paid off when Munganga Djunga made it 2-1 in the 62nd minute.
Any draw away in the DR congo in a return match in two weeks time will see Leopards proceed to the quarterfinals of this competition.