END OF THE ROAD FOR LEOPARD

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END OF THE ROAD FOR LEOPARD
END OF THE ROAD FOR LEOPARD

Africa-Press – Eswatini. THE remaining games against Libya’s Al Ittihad and JS Saoura of Algeria will be dead-rubber for Royal Leopard in the Total Energies CAF Confederation Cup after yet another drubbing suffered in the hands of South Africa’s Orlando Pirates last night. Pirates continued where they left off in the corresponding first leg clash played at Mbombela Stadium, this time convincingly winning 3-0 at their Orlando Stadium base.

Giants The first leg game ended 6-2 in favour of Pirates, and yesterday’s win means the Soweto giants have one foot into the quarter-finals of the tournament.

Last night, Leopard came with better tactics and that was to absorb the pressure and catch their opponents on the counter, but they did not have that zeal on the offensive. It was evident and the Leopard stars had their heads down from the first minute despite frustrating their much-fancied opponents in the opening half which ended goalless.

Somehow, the Leopard defensive wall fell like the Biblical Walls of Jericho following Fortune Makaringe’s opening goal two minutes after resumption. There was confusion as Ncamiso ‘Mbhonyo’ Dlamini, who was recalled to the poles by coach Edwin Matsebula for the first time in the group stages, was beaten from way out by the former Maritzburg United man, in what looked like an intended square pass.

The near side assistant referee had his flag up but he was overruled by the centre referee as Pirates took the lead. In the 54th minute, the hosts were 2-0 up, this time Menzi Sithole carelessly losing possession outside the big box for Kabelo Dlamini to interchange a pass with Goodman Mosele straight down the channel to slot past ‘Mbhonyo’.

Contest

The game was over as a contest in the 70th minute, as Terrence Dzvukamanja headed the third from a corner kick. Leopard have lost all their four group matches and the remaining games against Al Ittihad Tripoli next Sunday away and JS Saoura in Mbombela on April 3 will be of no significance.

Leopard will be guaranteed US$275 000 (about E4 191 000) for reaching this stage of the competition.

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