NATIONAL First Division leaders Thanda Royal Zulu coach Roger Sikhakhane says sharing the spoils with second placed Black Leopards yesterday was not a train smash.
Amabhubesi missed a golden chance to go 12 points clear at the top of the table when they were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Leopards at Umhlathuze Sports Complex in Richards Bay.
Said Sikhakhane after the match: “What is important is that we managed to maintain our lead. This wasn’t an easy match and I think this result is fair.”
Mhlengi Cele scored his 16th goal of the season when he put Thanda ahead in the 13th minute. That goal should have inspired the home team to go in search of more.
But instead they opted to sit back and allow Lidoda Duvha to come at them.
Captain Siphelele Ntshangase was key for Leopards, initiating all their attacks.
Their persistence paid off in the 37th minute when Thanda fail to clear their lines after a corner. Defender Jean Munganga tapped home in the goalmouth scramble.
Thanda were dealt another blow when their top scorer Cele was stretchered off after suffering a head injury before the 10 minute mark in the second half. Thabiso Nkoana was introduced in his place.
The second half saw Leopards doing all the running while Thanda were happy to sit back and hit them on the counter. Leopards failed to trouble Thanda keeper Xolani Ngcobo in any of their attacks, however.
Referee Lwandile Mfiki made his presence felt in the match, flashing seven yellow cards – four for Thanda and three for Leopards.