Highlands down Black Leopards in Telkom Knockout

Highlands Park are through to the quarter-finals of the Telkom Knockout after beating Black Leopards 6-5 on penalties in Tembisa on Sunday.

After 120 minutes of football failed to separate the two teams, it was left to a penalty shootout to decide the contest, and after 10 successful attempts it was Leopards forward Themba Ndlovu who failed to find the target, allowing Highlands to clinch the victory.

The first half proved to be an uneventful contest, with only the Lions of the North bringing some life to proceedings with a couple of decent chances late on, although none of them were converted.

Coach Owen Da Gama brought on veteran midfielder Reneilwe Letsholonyane after the break, and the move nearly paid dividends when the substitute almost scored with a long-range effort that had to be palmed away by Leopards goalkeeper Jonas Mendes.

Leopards had a great chance to take the lead 15 minutes from time, but Lesedi Kapinga could not direct his header at the target from point-blank range.

Disaster struck for Leopards early in extra time when Khuliso Mudau was sent off for a second yellow card following a rash challenge on Ricardo Willliams, but even with the one-man advantage Highlands failed to kill off their opponents.

That meant the contest would have to be decided by penalties, and the Highlands players did not disappoint, with Tendai Ndoro, Mlungisi Mbunjana, Mothobi Mvala, Peter Shalulile and Luckyboy Mokoena all scoring from the spot.

For Lidoda Duvha, Mwape Musonda, Pentjie Zulu, Thabiso Mokoena, Andriamirado Dax, and Chris Katjiukua all scored but Ndlovu could not convert.

That gave midfielder Given Msimango the chance to seal the victory for the home side, and he made no mistake, smashing the ball into the net to seal his side's place in the quarter-finals.