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Black Leopards shock Kaizer Chiefs in a 1-all stalemate

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Black Leopards shock Kaizer Chiefs in a 1-all stalemate - Sports Leo

Relegation candidates Black Leopards shocked friend and foe alike by holding runaway Absa Premiership log-leaders Kaizer Chiefs to a 1-1 draw away at the Thohoyandou Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Both goals were scored the first half through Samir Nurković (Kaizer Chiefs, 11th min) and Mogakolodi Ngele (Black Leopards, 32).

Despite the draw, Chiefs will remain well clear at the top of the log – 10 points adrift of second-placed Mamelodi Sundowns. However, Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp will be concerned with a sluggish performance against Leopards who rose out of the relegation zone on goal difference thanks to the result.

Chiefs enjoyed early dominance and claimed the lead in just the 11th minute. Lebogang Manyama’s corner kick found Nurković unmarked and the striker netted his 10th league goal of the season with a glancing header.

Leopards gradually settled into the game and began exerting pressure on the visitors, before claiming a deserved equaliser in the 32nd minute. A foul on the edge of the Chiefs penalty area allowed Mogakolodi Ngele to step up and fire home a well-struck effort directly from a free-kick to make it 1-1.

Leopards went on to test goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi several more times through the remainder of the first half, but at the interval, the teams were locked at one goal apiece.

The hosts also suffered a blow late in the first stanza when they were forced to withdraw Ngele due to injury. Joseph Mhlongo came off the bench to replace him.

Chiefs made a tactical change at the start of the second half. They withdrew defender Yagan Sasman and replaced him with midfielder Kearyn Baccus to exert more control in the middle of the park.

Chiefs succeeded in easing the pressure Leopards had built up, though they struggled to create scoring chances of their own, with the likes of Nurković and Leonardo Castro left to feed off scraps in the final third.

Both sides made attacking changes in the final quarter of the match, with Chiefs bringing on Dumisani Zuma and Leopards introducing Lesedi Kapinga, though neither was able to influence the game and inspire a late goal.

The closest either side came was in injury time when the Chiefs’ Manyama played a one-two on the edge of the box and then saw his effort deflected just wide of the Leopards goalposts, ensuring a stalemate at the end.

The teams return to Premiership action next weekend, with Leopards away to Cape Town City on Friday and Chiefs visiting Golden Arrows next Saturday.

In partnership with ANA and Sports Leo

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