Kaizer Chiefs moved to the top of the Absa Premiership with a 2-1 victory over Black Leopards in their rescheduled encounter at Soccer City on Wednesday night
Chiefs were always in control of the fixture, taking the lead through an early Bernard Parker penalty, before Siphiwe Tshabalala added a second.
Leopards made things interesting late on when former AmaKhosi striker Brian Amidu scored for them, but it was too little, too late.
Chiefs now hold a two-point lead over a trio of clubs – Maritzburg United, Free State Stars and University of Pretoria – at the top of the table in the early stages of the season.
George Lebese had an excellent chance to put Chiefs ahead when Kingston Nkhatha’s probing cross beat everyone and arrived nicely for the young midfielder at the back post.
He managed to turn the ball goalwards, but his shot was blocked by a desperate Humphrey Khoza who cleared the ball off the line.
Lebese was again involved on 11 minutes and his run into the box drew a foul from Ernot Dzaga. It was a clear penalty and referee Daniel Bennett had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
Parker, who was denied a goal for his record books by the abandonment of the game on Saturday, blasted home the penalty to give AmaKhosi the lead.
Raymond Monama fired narrowly over for Leopards midway through the first half as they began to find their feet in the fixture and get forward with more regularity.
Siboniso Gaxa was the hero for Chiefs 10 minutes from the break when he cut out Rodney Ramagalela’s cross from the right that looked to be a simple tap-in for Joshua Obaje.
Excellent play between Lebese and Parker set up the latter for a shot on goal soon after halftime, but he put his effort wide.
The chance was created by yet more brilliant work from Lebese, who was proving to be the chief dangerman for Lidoda Duvha with his trickery and neat interplay with his teammates.
Nkhatha forced a good save from Ayanda Mtshali in the Leopards goal as Chiefs went searching for a second to give them some breathing space in the game.
AmaKhosi were rampant by now and Parker should have netted again when he found himself one-on-one with Mtshali, but the goalkeeper stood tall and blocked his effort.
It was 2-0 with 20 minutes to go when Tshabalala showed good determination to beat off the attention of two Leopards defenders and side-foot home past a helpless Mtshali.
Lebese came close to the goal his performance deserved, when he was played in by Nkhatha, turned inside one defender, but from the edge of the area he fired over the bar.
Leopards got a lifeline with a minute left to play when Zimbabwean forward Amidu rifled the ball home having been given time and space in the box.Lidoda Duvha did have one final chance to force an equaliser when Ramagalela looked ready to pull the trigger at the back post, but Tshabalala nipped in to deny him the scoring opportunity.