18 January 2020
Black Leopards (1) 1 (Ngele 32’) 1 (1)
Kaizer Chiefs (1) 1 ( Nurković 11’)
Kaizer Chiefs took an early lead in their Absa Premiership encounter against Black Leopards in Thohoyandou on Saturday afternoon. The goal came through a well taken header from Samir Nurković in the 11th minute as he took his league tally for the season to 10 goals. Leopards managed to earn a point from the game when Mogakolodi Ngele turned home a free kick in the 32nd minute as the game would end 1-1.
Daniel Akpeyi was called into action in the 3rd minute as he punched away a ferocious free kick from the right by Leopards’ Ngele, after Bernard Parker had initially given away a free kick. Manyama and Nurković were linking up well and it took some last gasp defending from Khuliso Mudau to stop the latter from getting in on goal after Manyama had set him up with a ball over the Leopards defence.
It was the same duo who combined in the 11th minute as Chiefs took the lead. Manyama swung in a corner from the left which saw Nurković run ahead of a static Edwin Gyimah and flicked the ball at the near post past Jonas Mendes to give Chiefs the lead. Nurković scoring his 10th league goal of the season in his 15th league outing while Manyama contributed with his 7th assist of the season in his 17th league appearance of the 2019/20 campaign.
Ngele brought Leopards back on level terms at just past the half an hour mark, as he spectacularly curled home a free kick from the edge of the area. He got the ball around the wall and sent it to the far post where a full stretched Akpeyi was unable to stop the ball from going beyond him into the back of the net.
Shortly after conceding, Chiefs tried to find the lead again when Leonardo Castro was able to flick a long throw in by Kgotso Moleko from the left towards Nurković. He was unable to make contact with the ball and Mendes was eventually able to pick it up.
Akpeyi though would manage to make a fine stop at close range from Ngele in the 38th minute as he put out a hand to block a powerful shot from the Botswana international, at close range after he had been played into space.
The first half would end 1-1.
Both sides made changes at the start of the second half. Chiefs brought Kearyn Baccus on for Yagan Sasman, while Leopards replaced the injured Ngele with Josepho Mhlongo.
Manyama managed to deliver another pinpoint corner in the 73rd minute, which was met by the head of Castro, but he was unable to direct his effort at goal and headed the ball over Mendes’ goal. Mulomowandau Mathoho made a vital interception in the 74th minute as he cut out a ball from the right from Lesedi Kapinga with Leopards players lurking in the Chiefs six-yard area.
In the 87th minute Castro backtracked all the way to the halfway line to win the ball. He strode forward, laying off the ball to Manyama to his left, who made space for himself before trying to curl the ball round Mendes, but he did not hit the target. The ball eventually went wide.
Deep into referee’s added time at the end of the game, Manyama had a shot at goal deflected for a corner after he had been fed in by Dumsani Zuma. The game ended 1-1 as neither side was able to find a way through in the second half.
Most Valuable Player (MVP)
Samir Nurković continues to show his value to the team as he scored his 10th league game of the season with another poacher’s finish. Lebogang Manyama continues to lay on the assists and was again influential in midfield and making his 7th assist for the season.
Fact of the match
Samir Nurković is the first Chiefs player since Bernard Parker in 2013/14 to score 10 or more league goals in a season for Amakhosi. Since 1996/97, he is the 11th Chiefs player to net 10 or more league goals in a season for the club.
Number of the game 13
Chiefs have scored at least one goal in each of their last 13 league games. Amakhosi have scored in 13 successive league games for the first time since the 2016/17 season.
What it means
Chiefs extend their lead over second placed Mamelodi Sundowns with this draw to 10 games.
Chiefs: Akpeyi; Moleko, Mathoho, Cardoso, Sasman (Baccus 46’), Ntiya-Ntiya; Katsande ©, Parker (Zuma 70’), Manyama; Castro, Nurković
Subs not used: Khune, Mphahlele, Ngezana, Kambole, Mashiane
Leopards: Mende Mudau, Zulu, Masia, Gyimah; Abubakar, Bereng, Matlaba ©, Musonda (Mncwango 85’); Ngele (Mhlongo 46’), Ngambi (Kapinga 74’)
Subs not used: Muleka, Ndou, Andrianarimanana, Mokoena
Chiefs are next in action at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on the 25th January against Golden Arrows. Kick-off is at 15:30.