Golden Arrows
Da Rocha
Tom (Senamale 64′)



Competition: Absa Premiership
Date: Wednesday, 29 October 2008
Venue: King Zwelithini
Kick-off: 18h30

The two super strikers of the moment, Richard Henyekane and Bernard Parker, proved extremely influential for their respective teams as Golden Arrows managed to hold on for a draw at the King Zwelithini Stadium against Thanda Royal Zulu on Wednesday afternoon in the Absa Premiership.

The KwaZulu-Natal derby was full of action in the first half with Arrows captain Kagisho Dikgcoi pulling the best out of Aubrey Mathibe in the tenth minute. Dikgacoi let off a fierce shot from the edge of the 18-yard box but Mathibe was equal to it pushing the ball over the bar in an acrobatic save.

The game had a nice ebb and flow to it with the two teams competing well in midfield and their defence holding their attackers at bay and forcing them to take shots from distance. Arrows attacking-midfielder Philani Shange had the next shot on goal in the 21st minute from about 20 yards out and to the relief of the Thanda fans the ball just past the right-hand up-right with the keeper well beaten.

The Amabhubesi’s first chance of the game came two minutes later when the tough tackling Norman Smith pulled off a shot from distance that failed to trouble Helton Da Rocha as he saved it comfortably. July Mahlangu should have given Thanda the lead in the 32nd minute when he rose above the defence to header the ball over the bar from an in-swinging cross.

Mahlangu was made to rue his missed chance five minutes later as ‘man of the moment’ Richard Henyekane opened the scoring for the Abafana Bes’thende: after a nice passing movement the ball found Henyekane 12 yards out from goal, he turned quickly on the ball and let of a low shot that found the bottom right hand corner of the goal, 1-0.

Two minutes later Henyekane turned provider when he provided a beautifully floated corner into the box that missed everyone and found the right foot of Dikgacoi. The Arrows captain made no mistake from only six yards out and volleyed the ball home ferociously, 2-0.

The referee brought the half to a close and Thanda looked relieved to get off the pitch and into the change room.

Roger Palmgren must certainly have given his side a telling-off as Thanda came into the second half a different side and pulled a goal back only seven minutes into the second half when ‘Player of the Month’ for September, Bernard Parker, headed home an inch perfect cross from the left wing by Sibusiso Hadebe, 2-1, and the Amabhudesi were on the come-back trail.

Thanda laid siege on Arrows goal with waves of attack after attack. First in the 55th minute Parker let off a fierce 20 yard shot that saw defender Siyabonga Sangweni throw himself in front of the ball to prevent a goal. Then, only two minutes later, Musa Nyatema fired in a long range shot that just sailed over the bar and out for a goal kick. Again in the 61st minute another Arrows defender Musa Bilankulu laid his body on the line when he blocked a shot from substitute Katleho Loke.

Eventually in the 68th minute Parker earned his status as last month’s player of the month when he scored his second goal and brought his side level. Parker scored a great poachers goal when he found the ball at his feet on the edge of the small box and easily slotted the ball past the keeper with his left foot and into the back of the net, 2-2.

Thanda failed to complete their come-back and Arrows managed to hold on in the second half to claim a well-earned point, at least for their first half performance.

Thanda Royal Zulu
Mathibe (Tsengwa 83′)
Mahlangu (Ndlovu 56′)
Mazibuko (Loke 55′)
Nyatama; Parker

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