Thanda Royal Zulu hold onto their league lead

Thanda striker Khotso Malope gets the ball away from Black Leopard defender Phathutshedzo Nange PHOTO: Larry Bentley

IN a typical top-ofthe-table, no-holds barred encounter, Thanda Royal Zulu were fortunate to share the spoils 1-1 with visitors Black Leopards at the uMhlathuze Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.

Both goals were scored in the first half, which saw the Amabhubesi on the ball first via Mhlengi Cele after some superb interplay by the link men.

It was a ding-dong, end-to-end affair with the home side slightly dominant as they played with a strong wind behind their backs – sometimes to their disadvantage as it carried the ball away from the strikers.

Close to the break, an unlucky sequence after a superb save from Xolani Ngcobo and a partial clearance saw the ball reach the grateful feet of Jean Munganga.

Thanda goal scorer Mhlengi Cele holds his
ground as he is jostled by Black Leopard
defender Thivhavhudzi Ndou

He ensured parity at 1-1. While Thanda came out with a vengeance at the start of the second period, with Velile Zitha’s immaculate cross finding no takers, from then on Leopards took control. They were faster to the ball, more accurate and seemingly more determined as they mounted waves of attack.

It must be said Thanda held the fort well in numbers, with Ngcobo at the centre of a solid wall. But in no way did they give up on attack, few and far between as they were. Especially towards the end of the match they had a few golden chances, but weak finishing let them down.

Seldom has the home team played so disjointedly, and they will take the solitary point – and the two denied to their nearest rivals – with thanks.

Thanda still remain unbeaten at home and are still clearly on track for PSL promotion.



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Dave Savides

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