LEOP­ARD SPOIL MAMBA’S PARTY

Sunday Observer - - SPORT - BY SIBU­SISO MASILELA (Pics: Lucky Sime­lane)

Royal Leop­ard ..............................(0)1 Green Mamba ..............................(0)0

SOC­CER-

It wasn’t a happy crown­ing for MTN league first round cham­pi­ons Green Mamba as Royal Leop­ard spoilt the party af­ter beat­ing them by a soli­tary goal.

It just took a sec­ond half strike from Fanelo Ts­abedze for the po­lice side to win the se­cu­rity forces derby played at the Mavuso Sports Cen­tre yes­ter­day.

The in­jury prone Ts­abedze scored the elu­sive goal eight min­utes be­fore full­time af­ter a string of mis­fir­ing by the t wo s i des . The f or mer Mba­bane High­landers player calmly con­trolled a Muzi 'Mzoro' Dlamini pass be­fore beat­ing the op­po­si­tion goal­keeper Thokozani Mkhulisi hands down with a rasp­ing ground shot. The vic­tory has brought the 2016/17 cham­pi­ons back into the ti­tle chas­ing pack as they are now six points be­hind log lead­ers Green Mamba with 24 points. De­spite the re­sult, Green Mamba were pre­sented with their E350 000 cheque for their feat in the first round in which they fin­ished on 30 points af­ter 13 games played. The loss also proved to be a stab in the heart for Green Mamba as they missed a num­ber of glit­ter­ing first half chances with the main cul­prit be­ing top goalscorer Musa Dlamini. The pint-sized striker was de­nied on a one on one by Leop­ard goal-min­der Phep­hisani Msibi af­ter beat­ing the flat footed Leop­ard de­fence in the 20th minute. The for­mer Mba­bane Swal­lows front man should have taken his tally to 10 goals five min­utes be­fore half­time when he fired out­side the box Phep­hisani, Mla­muli, Sikhum­buzo, Machawe, Lucky, Si­fiso, Muzi, Bon­gani, Bonginkhosi (Zweli), Fanelo, Matse (Melusi).

Mkhulisi,Thabo,Thabiso, Sanele, Bane le ,Khe tho ,Sormese t (Md­luli),Oladele (Mx­olisi), Mthunzi (Linda), Njab­ulo, Musa. with only the keeper to beat.

The two coaches; Ed­win Mat­se­bula and Caleb Ng­wenya made some cou­ple of changes dur­ing the sec­ond half which, how­ever, didn’t do much for the Cor­rec­tional Ser­vices side as Leop­ard walked away with max­i­mum points.

Green Mamba's Thabiso Gumbi grabs play Royal Leop­ard's Muzi Dlamini dur­ing the MTN Pre­mier League match at Mavuso Sports Cen­tre yes­ter­day. Leop­ard won 1-0.

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