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The Motsepe Foundation Championship Vhembe Derby between Black Leopards and Venda Football Academy (VFA) ended in a 1-1 draw on Saturday.

The fixture drew attention leading up to the match day following the decision by Leopards to move the game to Thohoyandou Stadium from Malamulele.

Leopards are now based in Malamulele after a fall-out with the Thulamela Municipality over what they call unreasonable fees charged to use the venue.

VHEMBE DERBY RIVALRY INTENSIFY  

The presence of former Leopards coach Joel Masutha at VFA has also created tensions. The feud over rising star Wanga “Messi” Khorommbi has also created tensions between the two camps.

Khorommbi was training with Leopards at the beginning of the season while he had signed a contract at VFA. But the two clubs reached a settlement which saw the player eventually going back to VFA.

Leopards v VFA IN Vhembe Derby action
Leopards v VFA IN Vhembe Derby action

The match did not live up to expectations up until the 74th minute when Kenneth Nthatheni scored an opener. Veteran striker Rhulani Manzini found an equaliser a minute later with a powerful shot inside the 18-area box.

The result did not change anything on the log standings as both clubs remain in the bottom three. Leopards are 14th with 11 points from 13 matches while VFA have the same points tally with an inferior goal difference and occupy the 15th spot.

VFA AND LEOPARDS COACHES REACTIONS  

“The main objective is to climb out of the relegation zone. We have a few new faces because we wanted to employ a certain style of play. It looks like we are getting there, we are not yet there because we are not taking the right decisions in and around the box,” said VFA coach Simo Dladla.

Leopards head coach Johnny Ferreira admits his players lost focus immediately after they scored.

“We had so many chances to win the game, so did they. On the balance of play, we both deserve the point. It was always important to score the first goal but we slept off immediately after kick-off and scored.

Leopards are away to All Stars on Tuesday, 17 January while VFA while VFA will host Uthongathi on Wednesday, 18 January.

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