Lifa Hlongwane of Black Leopards challenged by Mbongeni Gumede of Amazulu during the Absa Premiership 2018/19 match at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane.
JOHANNESBURG - Black Leopards will not have to train over Christmas after a 3-1 home win against AmaZulu on Saturday lifted them off the bottom of the South African Premiership table.
Recently hired Malta-born coach Dylan Kerr told Leopards before their previous league match they needed four points from two matches to avoid festive season training.
The club from the northeastern town of Thohoyandou drew at Maritzburg United three days ago, leaving them needing maximum points against AmaZulu to earn a Christmas break.
After a goalless first half in 35 degree celsius (95 fahrenheit) heat on a hard pitch, Leopards established a two-goal lead through Lefa Hlongwane and Tshwarelo Bereng.
Bongi Ntuli pulled one goal back for AmaZulu from coastal city Durban with three minutes left only for Zambian Mwape Musonda to net a minute later and assure Leopards of victory.
Leopards, who were promoted this season to the top flight, climbed four places to 12th in a congested lower end of the table with just two points separating the last six clubs.
AmaZulu are ahead of Leopards only on goal difference after having six points deducted by FIFA for not honouring the contract of a former player.
SuperSport United won for only the second time in 11 matches in all competitions by edging Maritzburg United 1-0 in northeastern city Nelspruit.
The outcome was decided by a 63rd-minute penalty with Aubrey Modiba firing past Ghana goalkeeper Richard Ofori.
SuperSport rose two places to fifth, five points behind leaders Orlando Pirates with a game in hand, while Maritzburg remained second last with just one victory in 13 league matches.
Much was expected of Maritzburg in this campaign after they finished fourth last season, but they have battled to score, averaging a goal every 234 minutes in the Premiership.