Kapinga grabs the equaliser for Black Leopards against Highlands Park
THOHOYANDOU – Black Leopards and Highlands Park played to a 1-1 draw in a Premiership match at the Thohoyandou Stadium in Limpopo on Saturday.
Leopards, backed by a boisterous home crowd, got into the thick of things quickly, pushing hard for an early goal.
Pentjie Zulu tried his luck with a shot from range, but it sailed wide of the target.
Lesedi Kapinga was the player making it happen for Leopards.
The tricky forward caused the Highlands defence a lot of problems with his movement and guile – and he was unlucky not to score on a few occasions.
In the 11th minute, Kapinga forced a save from Highlands goalkeeper Thela Ngobeni and a few minutes later, he steered an attempt wide.
For Leopards, Lifa Hlongwane found himself in space when set up by Khuliso Mudau, but the midfielder directed his effort straight into the waiting hands of Ngobeni.
Thabiso Mokoena also had a chance to give the home side the lead, but hooked his shot wide of goal.
With Leopards not able to make the most of their opportunities, they always ran the risk of being caught on the counter.
And that was exactly how it turned out as Highlands scored three minutes before the break with a fine finish from Sphiwe Mahlangu.
But Leopards came out determined in the second half and, after some good work, were able to fashion an equalising goal – and, no surprise, it was that man Kapinga who scored.
The Thohoyandou-based club then lost hard-running winger Thuso Phala to injury, and he was replaced by Joseph Mhlongo.
Leopards then threw everything at the opposition in a desperate bid to get the winning goal.
In the 66th minute, Highlands made a change, with Sabelo Nyembe replaced by Wayde Jooste.
The change injected a bit more energy into Highlands’ offensive efforts and they were unfortunate not to score when Peter Shalulile sent a header wide.
In a frantic end to the game, both sides tried their utmost to score, but Mothobi Mvala shot over for Highlands.
Themba Ndlovu had a chance to snatch the points for Leopards, but Ngobeni pulled off the save.