Lamontville Golden Arrows secured a hard-fought 1-0 win over Black Leopards in an Absa Premiership match at the Princess Magogo Stadium in Durban on Sunday afternoon.
The win took Abafana Bes’thende to 10th spot in the league standings, while Lidoda Duvha slipped down to 12th place.
Lidoda Duvha suffered a blow just 12 minutes into the game as their key defender Jean Munganga went down injured.
The experienced DR Congolese player was replaced by Khomotso Masia as Leopards made the first change of the game.
Abafana Bes’thende then took control of the match with Sandile Zuke pulling the strings in the middle of the park.
Leopards goalkeeper King Ndlovu was called into action in the 29th minute following a good move on the edge of the visitors’ box.
Danny Venter forced the shot-stopper into a decent save as the hosts looked to break the deadlock.
The experienced winger then picked up an injury and he was replaced by Nduduzo Sibiya in the 38th minute.
The hosts kept pushing for the opening goal and they nearly scored through Knox Mutizwa with the halftime break approaching.
Divine Lunga’s delightful cross found Mutizwa, whose header was saved by Ndlovu, who was well-positioned in Leopards goal-posts.
Leopards were able to contain Arrows and the score was 0-0 at halftime.
Abafana Bes’thende continued their dominance after the restart with coach Clinton Larsen having introduced Frank Motebejane.
The former Tshakhuma Madzivhadila attacker made a huge impact as he was involved in the opening goal of the match in the 63rd minute.
Motebejane combined with Siboniso Conco, who then set-up Zimbabwe international Knox Mutizwa, who scored with a header to make 1-0 to Arrows.
Leopards coach Joel Masutha reacted by introducing Karabo Tshepe, who is an attacking midfielder by trade.
The visitors did most of the attacking in the dying minutes of the encounter as they looked to snatch a late equalising goal.
However, Arrows stood firm at the back in the latter stages of the game and ultimately, they emerged 1-0 winners over Leopards.
Arrows: Gumede, Mzava, Sibisi, Mngwengwe, Lunga (Matebejane 60′), Zuke, Phiri, Conco, Venter (Sibiya 38′), Lamola, Mutizwa (Cele 72′).
Leopards: Ndlovu, Nene, Munyai, Kapinga (Tshepe 66′), Munganga (Masia 14′), Mudau, Zulu, Nange, Sibanda, Musonda, Khutlang (Mhlongo 54′).