Mandla Ncikazi (Gallo Images)
Mohammed Anas scored a brace, including the winner in stoppage time, as Black Leopards moved off the bottom of the DStv Premiership standings with a 2-1 victory over 10-man Golden Arrows at the Sugar Ray Xulu stadium on Tuesday.
Arrows came into the contest on the back of three consecutive league victories but were second best for most of the first half.
Even though they had only won twice in 15 league matches this campaign, it was Leopards that dominated the early passages of the game.
Tsepo Matsimbi and Kenneth Nthatheni had opportunities to give Leopards the lead but saw their efforts go wide.
It took Abafana Bes’thende 28 minutes to muster their first opportunity on goal but Velemseni Ndwandwe saw his back-heel shot brilliantly saved by visiting goalkeeper King Ndlovu.
Lidoda Duvha though took a deserved lead just after the half-hour mark when Anas followed up and headed home the rebound after a Lifa Hlongwane long-range shot hit the crossbar. Arrows were a much-improved team in the second half but could only create half-chances, the best falling to Lindokuhle Mtshali who saw a desperate sliding effort go wide.
The home team did eventually find the equaliser in the 68th minute as Michael Gumede back-heeled a low Mthokozisi Dube cross into the back of the net.
Arrows’ chances however of winning the contest took a nose-dive just five minutes after leveling matters when Pule Mmodi was shown a straight red card for a studs up challenge on Nthatheni.
It looked as though the hosts would hold out for a point but Anas struck a long-range winner in the third minute of stoppage time to give Leopards all three points.
The victory means Lidoda Duvha move off the foot of the table, three points ahead of Maritzburg United, while Arrows remain fourth after suffering just their second loss of the season.