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Mshengu (Bengu 74’)
Biyela (Kombe 46’)
GOLDEN ARROWS 1
2 AMAZULU FC
Date: Tuesday, 02 February 2010
AmaZulu picked up three very welcome points as the Absa Premiership resumed on Tuesday, defeating KwaZulu-Natal rivals Golden Arrows 2-1 at the Chatsworth Stadium.
For relegation threatened Usuthu, who scored their goals via Ayanda Dlamini and Marc van Heerden, this could prove to be a vital win that may go a long way in ensuring their top flight status for next season.
As for Abafana Bes’thende, it is a missed opportunity to move into the top eight and they will be disappointed at letting AmaZulu get the better of them after beating their rivals three successive times (twice in the MTN8 semifinals and once in the first round of the league) this season.
AmaZulu got off to a flying start, with Ayanda Dlamini firing the ball past Helton Da Rocha to put the visitors a goal up inside the opening minute of the match.
AmaZulu should have added to their advantage within the first five minutes, with both Belux Bukasa Kasonga and Dlamini missing out on goal scoring opportunities that they should have converted.
Thokozani Mshengu almost inadvertently brought Arrows level with a floating cross in the 10th minute that forced Mbongeni Mzimela to tip the ball behind for a corner kick.
On 15 minutes Abafana Bes’thende drew level. Pere Ariweriyai fouled Richard Henyekane on the left flank and the striker proceeded to play a perfect in-swinging cross from the set piece that was headed home by left-back Mzuvukile Tom.
At the midway point of the first half Dlamini missed out on another decent scoring chance, shooting wide from close range after some slack defending by the Arrows backline.
The hosts’ Njabulo Manqana could only shoot straight at Mzimela from just inside the penalty area on 29 minutes, while Usuthu’s Kasonga saw his header from a Marc van Heerden free kick tipped over by Da Rocha a short while later.
On 33 minutes Thabo Mabaso played a perfectly weighted cross into the box but Sibusiso Hadebe’s effort flashed wide of goal, and seven minutes later Dlamini was guilty of another miss when he failed to convert Litha Ngxabi’s lay-up.
Arrows took a more attacking approach in the second half, with coach Manqoba Mngqithi sending on striker Francis Kombe in place of defensive midfielder Bafo Biyela.
The bold approach almost paid dividends just before the hour mark when Kombe set up Henyekane for a strike at goal but the Bafana Bafana forward put his shot wide of the target.
Kombe then had a chance of his own just a couple of minutes later but his header went straight into the arms of Mzimela in the AmaZulu goal.
Usuthu’s Ngxabi was gifted a good chance on 62 minutes but he failed to hit the target from 10 metres out, and three minutes later van Heerden’s curling shot was turned away by Da Rocha.
However, van Heerden found the back of the net with just over ten minutes to play, scoring a beauty from a long range free kick after Siyabonga Sangweni had fouled Hadebe about 30 metres from goal.
On 84 minutes Henyekane almost found the back of the net from a free kick of his own but Mzimela was on hand to parry the ball away to safety. It was as close as Arrows got to finding an equaliser in the dying minutes as Usuthu held on for victory.
Golden Arrows (1) 1 (Tom 15’)
AmaZulu (1) 2 (A. Dlamini 1’, van Heerden 79’)
Arrows: (4-5-1) Da Rocha; Zwane, Musonda, Sangweni, Tom; Mshengu (Bengu 74’), Khuboni, Biyela (Kombe 46’), Zothwane, Manqana; R. Henyekane
AmaZulu: (4-4-2) Mzimela; Kasonga, Ariweiyai, Chintu, van Heerden; Ngxabi (N. Zwane 75’), Biyela, Mabaso, Hadebe (Gumede 90’); A. Dlamini, Ritson (Ngwenya 69’)
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Ngxabi (N. Zwane 75’)
Hadebe (Gumede 90’)
Ritson (Ngwenya 69’)