Arrows blitz sinks Leopards
Collins Mbesuma (Gallo Images)
Durban - Three goals in 13 second-half minutes helped Golden Arrows end a four-match losing streak with a deserved 4-2 victory over Black Leopards in their PSL clash at the Princess Magogo Stadium in KwaMashu, outside Durban, on Wednesday.
Dillon Sheppard opened the scoring early on, before visiting captain Mongezi Bobe drew his side level shortly before the break.
After the restart, Collins Mbesuma put his side in front with a deft finish, before further goals from substitute Thamsanqa Gabuza and Philani Shange put daylight between the two sides.
Luyolo Mapholisa grabbed a late consolation for Lidoda Duvha, who remained rooted to the foot of the Absa Premiership standings.
The win for Abafana Bes'thende moved them up to 12th place on 17 points, leapfrogging Platinum Stars and Santos in the process.
Muhsin Ertugral’s side made a bright start to the game and took just five minutes to open the scoring.
Siyabonga Nkosi threaded an excellent pass through to Sheppard running in from the left, with the winger taking a touch and finishing low into right-hand corner with his left foot.
The visitors tried to respond with Kingston Nkhatha striking wide from distance, while a flowing move down the left resulted in Benedict Vilakazi striking with power and more precision, although it was straight at Andre Petim.
Mapholisa had a rare chance for the visitors via a free-kick on the left, but sent his effort wide.
However, there was no denying Leopards four minutes before the break when Nkhatha crossed from the left and Bobe rose between two defenders at the back post to head home.
It was 1-1 at the break and after the restart Nkhatha headed a corner slightly over, Leopards beginning the second period as they ended the first.
But the home side responded with their first foray forward as Mbesuma put them back in front when Sheppard played the ball into the box where the onrushing forward flicked the ball into the bottom right corner with the outside of his boot.
It was 3-1 nine minutes later after a fine first-time finish by Gabuza from the edge of the box, the substitute making a sweet connection to Shange’s cross from the left.
In the 63rd minute, Shange added a fourth when Mzivukile Tom saw his shot come back off the foot of the right upright, with his team-mate waiting unmarked at the back post to finish powerfully.
Gabuza and fellow replacement Sibusiso Hadebe had further chances to extend the lead, before Mapholisa grabbed a late consolation with a 35-yard strike that flew over an off-guard Petim and nestled in the back of the net.