AmaZulu record first PSL win in eight matches

2013-11-28 00:00

AMAZULU recorded their first PSL win in eight matches when they beat the high-flying Platinum Stars 2-0 in a highly entertaining clash in kwaMashu last night thanks to a goal in each half from Goodman Dlamini.

A brief but powerful shower before kick-off made the Princess Magogo turf slippery for the players, and didn’t do much for the quality of football in the early stages, as both sides struggled to pass the ball with any fluidity.

But it didn’t take long for that to change, and out of nothing AmaZulu found themselves 1-0 up after just eight minutes in sublime fashion.

Two failed clearances from an AmaZulu corner saw the ball fall to attacking midfielder Goodman Dlamini, who had momentum on his side as he met the ball with pace. His side-footed effort was full of composure but not without power, and the ball was expertly placed into the bottom right corner to leave Stars goalkeeper Siyabonga Mpontshane helpless.

That goal was exactly what the game needed as both sides and the crowd were sparked into life, and Lunga Zondi tested Mpontshane just two minutes later with another powerful effort into the same corner.

For Stars, striker Henrico Botes was holding the ball up well with attacks coming off of him, but the Rustenberg lads couldn’t get any shots on target.

On 14 minutes, Robert Ngambi completely squandered a golden opportunity to equalise after good work down the left from Sibusiso Hadebe, who had a lively start to the match. Ngambi, who has been immense for Stars this season, almost missed the squared ball completely as he swung his left boot through it.

Usuthu striker Ayanda Dlamini should have put Usuthu 2-0 up just past 20 minutes when he pinched the ball from a lazy and stagnant Tshepo Gumede, who was Stars’ last line of defence. But one-on-one with Mpontshane, Dlamini could only hit his effort straight into the keeper’s frame.

Mogakolodi Ngele was then the recipient of an elegant Botes flick-on, but his powerful volley was rocketed just over the crossbar.

Ngele tested Usuthu keeper Aubrey Mathibe for the first time in the game with a left-footed free kick moments later — the shot stopper doing well to turn the ball around the post.

But the closest Stars would get in the first half was when highly rated central midfielder Issa Sarr had Mathibe beat on 35 minutes after a solid build-up, but the Senegalese player’s effort hit the left hand upright in a moment that had Usuthu hearts in mouths.

From the resulting counter attack, AmaZulu midfielder Njabulo Manqana was put in space before he blasted an effort that was saved by Mpontshane low and to his left in what was the save of the match.

The second half was frantic, and Zondi thought that he had put AmaZulu 2-0 up in the 56th minute only to find that he was offside.

The rain returned, but the game wasn’t slowing down for anything. Stars were desperate for a goal, and Usuthu even more desperate to win.

Hadebe forced a great save out of Mathibe on 71 minutes, and AmaZulu were never as solid as they would have liked defensively, making for a nervy finish. But Rosslee’s charges sat deep, and did a good job of slowing the game down when Stars wanted to play quickly. With Stars stretched to their limit in the dying stages in search of an equaliser, Goodman Dlamini slotted home his second with the Stars’ defence virtually non-existent in the final seconds.

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