Mwape Musonda's late strike gives Leopards relegation lifeline

Black Leopards players celebrate a goal during the Absa Premiership match between Golden Arrows and Black Leopards at Emirates Airline Park on August 21, 2020 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Black Leopards players celebrate a goal during the Absa Premiership match between Golden Arrows and Black Leopards at Emirates Airline Park on August 21, 2020 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

Mwape Musonda gave Black Leopards a huge lifeline in their fight to avoid the drop bundling in a last-gasp goal to give Lidoda Duvha a 2-1 Absa Premiership win over Golden Arrows at the Ellis Park on Friday.

The match looked set for a draw before the Zambian striker completed his double in the 90th minute after his opening‚ seventh-minute penalty had been cancelled by Arrows striker Knox Mutizwa in the 26th minute.

The win‚ a second successive one for Leopards‚ moves Musonda;s team from second-from-bottom to 13th spot on the log and puts pressure on fellow strugglers Chippa United‚ AmaZulu‚ Baroka FC and Polokwane City.

Both opening goals came through the sheer generosity of referee Cedric Muvhali‚ who awarded controversial penalties‚ in the process helping Arrows striker Mutizwa to increase his league goal tally to 12 goals and Musonda’s to go to his seventh strike‚ making it and eight with the last-minute winner.

While Lidoda Duvha remain very much entangled in the relegation dogfight‚ the full points gained in this match gives them a huge boost going to their last four matches.

Leopards won 3-2 against Maritzburg United on Sunday in their first match since the resumption and‚ having rested for four days‚ were always expected to give Arrows a lot of trouble in this match.

Arrows‚ who are yet to gain three points in the bio-bubble after playing a 0-0 draw against Bidvest Wits on Tuesday following their 1-0 defeat to Stellenbosch FC on Saturday‚ created a few opportunities to earn full spoils.

With four tough games coming against SuperSport United‚ AmaZulu‚ Bidvest Wits and Mamelodi Sundowns‚ after this vital win against Arrows‚ Leopards will feel they have what it takes to earn the points to keep them in the Premiership.

Arrows coach Steve Komphela would have also preferred to go to their next match against second-placed Sundowns on Monday with a win in this match as they seek to win a place in the top eight.

The loss kept Abafana Bes’thende’s in 10th spot with their last three matches‚ after the Sundowns game to be played against Cape Town City‚ Bloemfontein Celtic and Chippa United.