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Sport - Date: 23 November 2017
Written by: Frank Mavhungu / Viewed: 460
Black Leopards gave the team’s new head coach, Mr Ivan Minnaert, a warm welcome when they beat Mthatha Bucks 2-0 in their NFD League match at the Thohoyandou Stadium on Saturday.
The home side could have sealed the game within the first 20 minutes of play, but their strikers were unlucky.
Their centre forward, Siyabulela Shai, won the ball inside the box in the eighth minute and shot wide, with the keeper already beaten. As if that was not enough to infuriate the team’s excited fans, Xolani Ndlovu committed a similar blunder four minutes later.
Linda Bengu of Bucks was the first player to see yellow. He tackled Xolani Ndlovu roughly and the Thembisa-born referee, Mr Thokozani Mkhize, did not hesitate to flash yellow. Leopards were forced to effect a change to their starting 11 towards the end of the first half. Their right back, Isaac Masia, sustained a knee injury and he was replaced with Jupiter Ngwenya. No goal was scored in the first half.
Thivhavhudzi Ndou, the Leopards’ left back, was warned with a card for dangerous play in the 47th minute. Lidoda Duvha replaced Siyabulela Shai with Karabo Tsepe soon afterwards. The Leopards’ coach surprised the team’s supporters by replacing a defender, Marks Munyai, with a striker, Ivan Mahangwahaya, in the 70th minute.
It took Black Leopards 84 minutes to open their account. Mwape Musonda beat the keeper with a ground cutter, following a neat pass from Ivan Mahangwahaya. Musonda was reprimanded with a card for ignoring the referee’s whistle a few minutes later. He shot the ball away long after the referee had blown the whistle for an offside.
Karabo Tsepe also scored with a ground cutter, two minutes before the final whistle.
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Linda Bhengu of Bucks makes a sharp turn with the ball, while Phathutshedzo Nange of Leopards is ready to defend.
Frank is a Human Resources Manager at the Department of Public Works in Limpopo. He is the longest serving correspondent of the Mirror, having joined us at the end of 1990. He mainly writes sports reports and resides at Tsianda Village. In 2004, Frank won the National Castle League Award, an award for the best reporter in the SAB league in South Africa.