Igesund joins Thanda as PSL hots up

2008-05-01 00:00

Former Mamelodi Sundowns coach Gordon Igesund has joined Thanda Royal Zulu as a technical advisor, as the relegation-threatened Durban team attempt to turn around a five-match losing streak that continued with a 3-2 loss against Black Leopards yesterday.

The defeat at Princess Magogo Stadium was a blow to Thanda’s survival hopes, with last-placed Leopards now just two points behind the third-last Durban side, and level on 22 points with second-last Jomo Cosmos, who lost 2-1 against Bloemfontein Celtic at Seisa Ramabodu Stadium.

In a full round of matches the action hotted up at both ends of the PSL table with three matches to go.

The PSL lead changed for the second time in a week thanks to Ajax Cape Town’s 2-0 defeat against Sundowns at the Super Stadium in Atteridgeville. Supersport United regained the lead by a point over Ajax with a 0-0 draw against Santos at Athlone Stadium.

Third-placed Santos (44 points) remained four points behind Supersport (48) and are just two adrift of neighbours Ajax (47).

Thanda team manager Thabani Gumede yesterday confirmed that Igesund will join the team’s technical team in an advisory role: "He is joining us as a technical advisor, just until the end of the season."

Durban-based Igesund has coached outside KwaZulu-Natal for the last eight years since leaving Manning Rangers, where he won the inaugural PSL title in 1996/97. He won league titles at Orlando Pirates, Santos and Mamelodi Sundowns last season, where his contract was terminated in February following the defending champions’ poor form.

Swedish-owned Thanda also employ former PSL chief executive Trevor Phillips as a consultant.

The club, who will be based in Hammarsdale next season, will need all the help they can get following their defeat against Leopards, whose goals were scored by Robert Ngambi in the sixth and 13th minutes, and Myron Shongwe in the 38th. Thanda’s replies came through Nigerian winger Felix Obada (30th) and Tshepo Mashishi (90th).

Also in Durban, Lamontville Golden Arrows paid for missed chances in a 1-0 defeat against Kaizer Chiefs at Chatsworth Stadium.

Amakhosi striker Mabhudi Khenyeza scored the lone goal in the 18th minute, heading in Siphiwe Tshabalala’s free-kick swung in from the right. Njabulo Manqana almost equalised just before the break as he turned and shot inches wide.

In the second half Vumani Mavundla’s shot from the edge of the six-yard box was brilliantly saved by the right foot of Chiefs ‘keeper Itumeleng Khune, and Philani Shange blasted over after being fed by Thokozani Mshengu’s ball across goal.

Struggling Chiefs moved to ninth place. Arrows dropped below Platinum Stars to sixth, with Stars beating Orlando Pirates 1-0 at Johannesburg Stadium thanks to Tshepo Ramokala’s 43rd-minute strike.

AmaZulu moved up one place to 12th with a 1-0 win over Wits University at Bidvest Stadium, Mohamed Awal Issah scoring 43 seconds into the second half.

Sundowns, who have moved from 12th to fourth since caretaker Trott Moloto replaced Igesund, took advantage of some uncharacteristically slack defending by Ajax to win 2-0.

Yesterday’s results: Orlando Pirates 0 Platinum Stars 1, Moroka Swallows 3 Free State Stars 1, Mamelodi Sundowns 2 Ajax Cape Town 0, Santos 0 Supersport United 0, Black Leopards 3 Thanda Royal Zulu 2, Lamontville Golden Arrows 0 Kaizer Chiefs 1, Bloemfontein Celtic 3 Jomo Cosmos 1, Wits University 0 AmaZulu 1

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