Black Leopards hold Arrows at home

Lamontville Golden Arrows and Black Leopards earned a point each when their Absa Premiership clash ended in a 0-0 draw at the King Zwelithini Stadium on Saturday evening.

The match was not short of action in the middle of the park, but both sides lacked the quality needed to break down the defence in the final third.

Arrows dominated possession in the first half with their short passing, while Leopards were more direct in their approach, but neither side was able to make use of the chances they created in the first half.

The first chance of the match fell for the hosts in the 11th minute from a corner, but Ritus Krjauklis’ header was blocked by goalkeeper Posnet Omony, while Musa Bilankulu’s follow-up shot was also cleared off the line by a defender.

Five minutes later Thamsanqa Gabuza had another chance to break the deadlock after some neat passes from Abafana Bes’thende, but he blasted his shot wide from the edge of the penalty area.

Then in the 21st minute Leopards threatened on the right with Rodney Ramagalela using his pace to get past Krjauklis, but his shot from a tight angle was blocked at the near post by goalkeeper Pavels Steinbors.

Gabuza continued to cause problems for Lidoda Duvha and in the 24th minute his brilliant touch enabled him to skip past Humphrey Khoza on the edge of the box, but yet again he fired wide of the target.

The end-to-end action continued two minutes later when Joseph Musonda cleared a pass from Ramagalela into the path of Raymond Monama, but the midfielder curled his shot over the crossbar from just outside the penalty area.

Muhsin Ertugral’s men then fashioned the next shooting chance in the 37th minute when Nkosinathi Ogle latched onto a loose ball just inside the D-line, but his low strike was deflected wide by Vincent Xakane as the two sides remained inseparable at the break.

Two minutes after the break Arrows made the mistake of leaving Tiyani Mabunda unmarked just outside the box; although the defender managed to get a solid connection with the ball, he got his bearings wrong as he shot wide of the post.

Then following a spell where play was concentrated in the midfield, Arrows had the next chance in the 62nd minute from a corner which went through a number of bodies before the ball fell for Norman Smith, but his shot was blocked by a defender.

Three minutes later the visitors also threatened from a set piece as Xakane rose above defenders to connect with a free-kick from Monama, but his glancing header went right across the goalmouth.

Both sides continued to throw men forward in search of the opening goal, but they were unable to find that special defence-splitting pass and the match started to look like it was headed for a stalemate.

But Arrows did have a chance in the 82nd minute when Norman Smith released substitute Boitumelo Sekgobela on the right, but his cross was too close to the goalkeeper, who punched to safety at the near post.

The hosts then had a great chance to steal maximum points in added time when Bongi Ntuli received the ball on the right side of the box, but his first shot was blocked by a defender before Omony smothered his second attempt.

The result leaves Arrows in 11th place with six points, two places below Leopards who have now collected seven points.

Lamontville Golden Arrows (0) 0

Black Leopards (0) 0

Lamontville Golden Arrows: Steinbors, Tom, Musonda, Zwane, Bilankulu, Krjauklis, Nene, Khuboni, Ogle (Sekgobela 77’), Smith (Sheppard 88’), Gabuza (Ntuli 70’)

Black Leopards: Omony, Dzaga, Khoza, Nyirenda, Xakane, Mabunda, Tshepe (Manaka 74’), Ramagalela, Bobe, Monama (Maake 72’), Zulu (Amidu 46’)