Monday 2021-12-06

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LEOPARD MARCH ON

By SABELO GWEBU | 2021-11-25

Leopard............................................... (1)2 Rangers............................................... (0)0 SOCCER - ROYAL Leopard are on the rampage. Four wins in as many matches, the only team with a 100 per cent win start to the season and the police ensemble are clearly making their intentions of defending the MTN Premier League.

Yesterday, they beat rookies 2-0 at KaLanga Stadium in a dominant performance. Returning striker Barry Steenkamp opened the scores’ chart as early as the fifth minute as he beat Lindelwa Langwenya with a low shot. Leopard started the match on a high, pressing and forcing their opponents to make mistakes.

They dominated possession for the better part of the first half, with Rangers chasing shadows, The match went to break with the police side leading 1-0. The second half was a replica of the first stanza with the police side dominating proceedings.

The opposition tried to regroup but it was not to be as they could not find the back of the net.Inspirational midfielder Junior Magagula wrapped-up all points with an 83rd minute strike from outside the big box to give Leopard the much needed confidence booster ahead of their Total Energia CAF Confederation Cup tie against Algeria's JS Kabylie on Sunday.

Coach Edwin Matsebula clearly had the CAF assignment in mind as he chose to rest most of his key players like Machawe Dlamini, captain Muzi 'Mzoro' Dlamini and Thabiso Mokenkoane. While some late appearances, Junior, Mlamuli Msibi and Wandile 'Shaka' Simelane were some that were rested later on in the game. The result was Rangers' second loss in succession following last Saturday's 5-0 demolition at the hands of Mbabane Highlanders.

MAN OF THE MATCH Barry Steenkamp (Leopard) The talisman is back with a bang and opened the scorers chart for his third goal in just two matches. He gives Leopard a focal point upfront and offers something different from Thabiso Mokenkoane or Lungelo Tsabedze in terms of holding up play. Menzi Sithole deserves a mention though as he pulled the strings in the midfield. TEAMS Leopard: 'Mbhonyo' Dlamini, Mlamuli Msibi ('Mzoro' Dlamini), Mancoba Maseko, Sikhumbuzo Magagula, Mzwandile Mabelesa, Menzi Sithole, Junior Magagula ('Ngci' Ndzimandze), 'Mlilo' Nxumalo ('Thikithi' Dlamini), 'Shaka' Simelane (Thabiso Mokenkoane), 'Manyovu' Dlamini (Fanelo Tsabedze), Barry Steenkamp. Rangers: Lindelwa Langwenya, Majaha Msibi, Mfanasibili Kunene, Simo Mtshali, Machawe Dlamini, Thanduxolo Kunene, Sifiso Maziya, Sandile Ngcamphalala (Bongumenzi Myeza), Sibonelo Mhlanga, Wandile Mafu (Sibusiso Masuku), Siyabonga Shabangu (Sandile Thwala).

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