Highlands tame Leopards in TKO

Highlands Park defeated Black Leopards 6-5 on penalties following a 0-0 draw in the 2019 Telkom Knockout Cup Round of 16 match at the Makhulong Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The victory saw the Lions of the North secured their place in the quarterfinals, while Lidoda Duvha crashed out of the tournament.

The two teams struggled to create chances in the opening stages of the match as they gave away possession cheaply in the final third.

However, Leopards looked dangerous every time they pushed forward with Thuso Phala looking to use his pace to unlock the hosts' defence.

Last season's Absa Premiership Mwape Musonda was left frustrated upfront as Lidoda Duvha struggled to create chances.

Highlands grew into the match and they started creating chances, and they should have scored on the stroke of halftime.

The ball fell kindly for Lindokuhle Mbatha in the Leopards box, but the diminutive winger's effort was blocked as the Lions of the North looked to break the deadlock.

The score was 0-0 at the interval in the clash between Highlands and Leopards.

A lively second-half followed and the visitors should have opened the scoring through Karabo Tshepe a few minutes before the hour-mark.

However, the attacker placed his effort inches wide of the target from close range with the Highlands defence caught ball watching.

Second-half substitute Reneilwe Letsholonyane then tried his luck from range, but his attempt was well-saved by Leopards goalkeeper Jonas Mendes.

The momentum was with Highlands in the closing stages of the match and they should have grabbed a late winning goal.

Tendai Ndoro was sent through on goal, but he was brilliantly denied by Mendes and Thabo Motlafi fired over the crossbar from the rebound with less than 10 minutes left.

Leopards then stood firm at the back the match ended in a 0-0 draw in regulation time and extra-time followed.

The visitors suffered a major blow as they were reduced to ten men when Khuliso Mudau was sent off after receiving his second yellow card in extra-time.

However, Leopards stayed compact and solid at the back in the remaining minutes of extra-time and a penalty shootout followed after a 0-0 stalemate.

Highlands went on to win 6-5 on penalties with Sphiwe Msimango scoring the last spot-kick.

Highlands (0) 0

Leopards (0) 0


Highlands Park: Ngobeni, Mokoena, Munyai (Letsholonyane 46') Msimango, Rae, Mbunjana, Williams, Mbatha (Ndoro 82'), Shalulile, Mvala, Mogaila (Motlafi 67').

Black Leopards: Mendes, Mudau, S.Zulu (P.Zulu 118'), Katjiukua, Masia, Mokoena, Andrianarimanana, Phala (Ndlovu 80'), Musonda, Bereng (Tshepe 46'), Kapinga.