Manzini saves Tshakhuma's blushes in Limpopo Derby

Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila fought back to hold Black Leopards to a 1-1 draw in the DStv Premiership match at the Thohoyandou Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.

The draw saw Vhadau Vha Damani climb up to the eighth spot on the league standings, while Lidoda Duvha also moved up to 14th place.

Vhadau Vha Damani saw most of the ball in the opening exchanges, but it was Lidoda Duvha, who threatened first through Rodney Ramagalela in the Limpopo Derby clash.

The Leopards captain tried to beat Washington Arubi at the near-post, but the Tshakhuma goalkeeper produced a fine save to deny the striker.

The hosts suffered a blow when King Ndlovu went down injured and the Leopards first-choice keeper was replaced by Jonas Mendes in the 27th minute.

Two former Orlando Pirates attackers Justin Shonga and Thabo Rakhale combined very well for Vhadau Vha Damani just after the half-hour mark.

However, Rakhale placed his effort inches wide of the target from inside the box with just Mendes to beat.

Rakhale then made a reckless challenge on Tebogo Makobela in the Tshakhuma box and Leopards were awarded a penalty on the stroke of halftime.

Roderick Kabwe then stepped up and beat Arubi from the spot-kick to make it 1-0 to Leopards heading into the halftime break.

Tshakhuma coach Joel Masutha made his intentions clear when he introduced attackers Lerato Lamola and Celimpilo Ngema prior to the start of the second-half.

However, it was Rhulani Manzini, who kept the Lidoda Duvha busy with good runs into the box as the visitors looked to level matters.

Vhadau Vha Damani were awarded a free-kick in a promising area in the 68th minute and Manzini beat Mendes from the set-piece to make it 1-1.

Masutha's counterpart, Dylan Kerr reacted by introducing Wiseman Maluleke and Ethan Sampson as the home side looked to restore their lead.

Leopards and Tshakhuma launched late attacks as they searched for the winning goal and the last chance of the game fellow for Edwin Gyimah.

However, the former Ghana international failed to direct his free header towards the goal-posts in stoppage time and ultimately, the match ended in a 1-1 draw on the day.

Black Leopards (1) 1 (Kabwe 45'+4)

Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (0) 1 (Manzini 69')


Black Leopards: K.Ndlovu (Mendes 27'), Makobela, Khumalo, Gyimah, Douhadji, Abubakar (Masalesa 82'), Mthethwa, Karuru, Ramagalela (Sampson 71'), Makgetlwa (Maluleke 71'), Kabwe (P.Zulu 82').

Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila: Arubi, Lukhubeni, Ndengane, Ravhuhali, Thangwane, Timm (Lamola 46'), Ngele (Ngema 46'), Shonga, Rakhale, Manaka, Manzini (Mphambaniso 87').