BLACK Leopards collected three valuable points when they defeated Maritzburg United 1-0 at the Harry Gwala Stadium in an Absa Premiership match on Wednesday night.
Raymond Monama scored the only goal of the match early in the first half and it was enough to secure victory for the away side in a match that failed to produce fireworks.
The match kicked off as planned at 19h30, but the players were taken off the field three minutes into the game due to lightning.
When play resumed both sides failed to get into some form of rhythm as they misplaced their passes in the middle of the park.
The home team threatened to score in the 13th minute when Kurt Lentjies beat his marker for pace on the left flank before playing the ball across for Cuthbert Malajila, but the forward scuffed his shot wide of the target.
Then the visitors almost got a goal out of nothing in the 45th minute when Ramagalela drilled a powerful shot long range, but Walters dived to his left to parry the ball to safety, leaving the deadlock intact at halftime.
Lidoda Duvha took the lead ten minutes after the break when Ramagalela delivered a cross from the right for Monama to sidefoot into the back of the net from close range, 1-0.
Ernst Middendorp’s men started to show some urgency after conceding the goal, but were unable to get any shots on target as they failed to penetrate the Leopards defence marshaled by Humphrey Khoza.
Mongezi Bobe then came close to scoring his fourth goal in three matches in the 69th minute with an audacious strike from 35-yards out, but his effort flew over the crossbar.
Two minutes later Ramagalela received a pass from Manama on the edge of the penalty area and turned before taking a shot, but the ball deflected off a defender and went straight to Walters.
The home side came close to finding the equalizer in the closing stages of the match, but substitute Wayne Matle headed Mor Diouf’s cross over the crossbar in the 83rd minute, while Kurt Letjies’ shot-cum cross was tipped over the crossbar by Azwindini Maphaha in added time.
Maritzburg United (0) 0
Black Leopards (0) 1 (55’ Monama)
TeamsWalters, Diouf, Booysen (Sibisi 46’), Morton, Hendricks, Matuka (Davids 73’), Evans, Lentjies,Olomu, Obada (Matle 56’), Malajila
Black Leopards: Maphaha, Mabusela, Khoza, Xakane, Zulu (Nkhatha 68’), Dzaga, Duiker, Monama (Mabunda 90’ +1), Bobe, Mapolisa, Ramagalel.-Backpagepix