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MHLUME – Army side Young Buffaloes have been dealt a blow in their title chase after being held to a 1-all draw by Royal Leopard during a feisty security forces derby played here yesterday.

Two quick second half goals ensured that the fixture continued to be synonymous with draws. Royal Leopard drew first blood through Thabiso Mokenkoane three minutes after the restart and after Buffaloes’ first half good run. However, Sandile ‘Saviola’ Gamedze stepped up for his team to see them extend their undefeated league unbeaten run to 42.


After referee Letticia Vianna’s final whistle, the second-placed Buffaloes saw the gap between them and leaders Green Mamba widening  to four points ahead of their titanic clash this week. Meanwhile, the police side, who seem to be kingmakers in the title race, remained fifth and nine points shy of a top four finish. Back into the game, Buffaloes demonstrated signs of recording a unique record in the forces derby by completing a double against Leopard after winning 3-2 in the first round. They piled pressured on the visitors, forcing them to sit back and rely on fruitless counter-attacks while they were also blunt in the last third. A goal attempt came after 28 minutes after the first whistle where Junior Mazibuko broke free, but saw his shot blocked by Sihlangu’s goalkeeper Ncamiso ‘Mbhonyo’ Dlamini. However, the then man of the match Junior Magagula forced a brilliant serve by Buffaloes shot stopper before the breather, beating him in the near post.


After waiting until after half time, Mokenkoane broke the deadlock in the 48th-minute. He converted a cross by seasoned Captain Muzi ‘Mzoro’ Dlamini. He unleashed a low volley when Buffaloes believed he would be judged offside. The police side’s joy was short-lived, as four minutes later, the reigning MTN League sharpshooter benefited a renounce from a rebound to restore parity. The visitors were already in command of the belly after ‘Saviola’ was pushed forward  for the attacking role after the introduction of Bongiswa Dlamini at half time. They went on to dominate the game and Mlungisi Nxumalo between the sticks made some crucial saves that ensured that the league dream remained alive.