Black Leopards 2-0 Amavarara
Black Leopards comfortably beat ABC Motsepe League side Amavarara 2-0 in Thohoyandou on Friday to advance to the Nedbank Cup quarter-finals.
Amavarara, who hail from Chris Hani District Municipality in the Eastern Cape and play in the third tier of South African football, did superbly to make it this far in their first year in the competition but were no match for Leopards in their own backyard.
Goals from Lesedi Kapinga and Themba Ndlovu in the opening half-hour all but killed off the match as a contest as the home side booked their spot in the last eight of South Africa's premier knockout tournament with a minimum of fuss.
Amavarara nearly sprang a surprise in the fifth minute of the match when Sihle Maso found himself through on goal, but his shot couldn't beat Rotshidzwa Muleka in the Leopards goal.
Instead, it was Lidoda Duvha who took the lead in the ninth minute when Kapinga took full advantage of a defensive error from Amavarara at the back to smash the ball into the top corner.
Leopards continued to play on the front foot and doubled their lead in the 26th minute when Ndlovu collected the ball from Mogakolodi Ngele and fired a cracking half-volley into the back of the net.
Mzunani Mgwigwi's Amavarara side tried their level best to get back in the match but struggled to trouble the Leopards back four, though they were at least able to tighten up defensively in the second half.
Still, Leopards came close to making it 3-0 midway through the half when Thabo Matlaba found himself with only the goalkeeper to beat, though he failed to find the target from close range.
Amavarara did have a chance to pull one back in the final 10 minutes when Khakha Velaphi was put through on goal, but his close-range effort flashed just wide.
The final moments of the match played out with a sense of inevitability as Leopards held on to become the first team to qualify for the Nedbank Cup quarter-finals.