Black Leopards too strong for Baroka

Cape Town – Black Leopards bolstered their ABSA Premiership survival prospects on Sunday after recording a 2-1 victory over fellow strugglers Baroka at Peter Mokaba Stadium.

Lidoda Duvha went into the half-time break with a two-goal cushion thanks to Mwape Musonda and Tshwarelo Bereng, but were unable to add to their advantage as Baroka rallied after the break and pulled one back through Abdi Banda.

The first half was an end-to-end affair as both sides created plenty of goalscoring chances, and it was the hosts who got the ball rolling as Jemontre Dickens and Tshidiso Patjie failed to hit the target with their shots in the opening five minutes.

Leopards hit back with two shots of their own, but Mwape Musonda and Tshwarelo Bereng could not find the mark.

And that theme would continue as both sides struggled to find their shooting boots, Baroka's Patjie sending a left-footed shot wide of the mark on 13 minutes while at the opposite end of the pitch, Musonda and Karabo Tshepe failed to test Elvis Chipezeze in the hosts' goal.

The deadlock was finally broken in the 31st minute as Musonda finally found his scoring touch, and the visitors struck again just five minutes later through Bereng's left-footed strike to leave Baroka reeling.

Leopards had two further chances in the closing stages of the half, but Tshepe's volley flew high and wide before Musonda followed suit by sending a volley of his own out of bounds.

Baroka produced a much improved performance after the break and very nearly pulled one back in the 46th minute when Patjie's driven effort smacked against the left-hand post.

However, Leopards remained a real threat as Tshepe and Musonda both went close to notching their team's third goal of the afternoon.

The hosts kept prodding and probing the Leopards defence and they created a few good chances, substitute Ranga Chivaviro heading wide of the left post in the 58th minute before Makgaka shot wide of the left post on 64 minutes.

Their endeavour was finally rewarded in the 68th minute as Makgaka sent in a curling cross from the corner and Abdi Banda was well placed to convert from close range.

However, despite clawing their way back, Baroka were unable to push on and grab the equaliser as Leopards held firm in the remaining 20 minutes to claim a hard-fought win.

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