Mwape Musonda continued his scoring form in the Absa Premiership, striking a late equaliser to help Black Leopards draw 1-1 with Golden Arrows at Thohoyandou Stadium on Saturday night.
Musonda has now netted seven goals in Lidoda Duvha’s last seven league matches, and helped them hit back from Lerato Lamola’s opener for Abafana Bes’thende. The result made no difference to the teams’ log position, with the Limpopo side in 11th and their Durban counterparts one place higher.
The first chance of the match went the way of Arrows in the seventh minute, with midfielder Seth Parusnath firing a shot on target from the left of the penalty area, but Leopards goalkeeper King Ndlovu made a fine save to palm the ball over.
Six minutes later Danny Venter came within inches of giving the visitors the lead, opening space for a left-footed shot from the ‘D’ of the box which clipped the outside of Ndlovu’s right-hand post, before Leopards’ Khuliso Mudau had the ball in the back of the net at the other end but was incorrectly flagged offside.
That disallowed effort seemed to spark the hosts into life and they went on to dominate the remainder of the half. On 34 minutes Mwape Musonda almost added to his growing tally of goals with an overhead attempt which travelled narrowly wide of the target.
Yet on 40 minutes Arrows showed their potency on the counter, with Knox Mutizwa making a beautiful turn and shot in the box, only to be denied by a sharp save from Ndlovu to ensure the game remained 0-0 heading into the interval.
Abafana Bes’thende claimed the lead eight minutes into the second half: Mutizwa saw his effort hit the upright, but the rebound fell kindly for Lerato Lamola, who ran in and forced the ball home from close range to put his side 1-0 up.
Leopards nearly came up with a reply in the 58th minute, with Musonda seeing his attempt direct from a free kick deflect off the top of the wall but Nkosingiphile Gumede reacted well to punch the ball away.
Lidoda Duvha soon looked to their bench and introduced Elton Kapinga and Joseph Mhlongo, as well as returning veteran Robert Ngambi, in an attempt to turn the game on its head. They dominated play, but had to wait until late on to find a breakthrough.
The equaliser arrived in the 86th minute, with a flick-on from a corner kick allowing Musonda another chance to strike with an overhead kick – this time his radar was on target and the ball beat Gumede to his left to level the game at 1-1.
The teams will return to Absa Premiership action on the first weekend of February, with Leopards away to Bloemfontein Celtic and Arrows at home to Highlands Park.
Black Leopards (0) 1 (Musonda 86’)
Golden Arrows (0) 1 (Lamola 53’)
Leopards: K. Ndlovu, Munyai, Munganga, Masia, Zulu, Maselesa, Bereng (Ngambi 72’), Tshepe (Kapinga 63’), Musonda, Mudau, Hlongwane (Mhlongo 72’).
Arrows: Gumede, Sibisi, Mzava, Mathiane, Lunga, Sibiya (Bilankulu 81’), Parusnath (Conco 46’), Phiri, Venter, Mutizwa, Lamola.