Absa Premiership

AmaZulu, Arrows share spoils in KZN derby

Divine Lunga (Gallo Images)
Divine Lunga (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Golden Arrows and AmaZulu could not be separated as their Kwazulu-Natal derby ended in a 1-1 stalemate at Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium on Sunday.

Arrows move in to ninth position on the standings after Bloemfontein Celtic and Cape Town City's match was abandoned.

Meanwhile, Usuthu remain in 11th position, just one point above 12th-placed Black Leopards, who have a game in hand.

Arrows were dominating the early proceedings and would have felt aggrieved not to have been awarded a penalty when Siyabonga Dube was caught late by Sibusiso Mabiliso in the box.

It was a physical and typical derby encounter, with plenty of hard tackles being made by both sides.

Amazulu broke the deadlock in the 12th minute when Siyethemba Sithebe whipped in an excellent delivery to the back post which was powerfully headed in to the top right-hand corner by Sadat Ouro-Akoriko.

Just moments of taking the lead, Usuthu had an opportunity to double their tally but Ovidy Karuru's shot from inside the box was wayward after good build-up play from Sphesihle Maduna.

Steve Komphela's side deservedly levelled matters in the 18th minute after Divine Lunga won the free-kick, Richard Matloga's cross-cum-shot hit the crossbar with Lunga following up on the rebound before side-footing the ball in to the back of the net.

Sibusiso Sibeko had a chance for Abafana Bes'thende on the half-hour mark but skied his effort over the crossbar. Soon after, Karuru and Bongi Ntuli linked up well, but the latter also leant back on his effort which comfortably cleared the crossbar.

Arrows made an enforced change at half-time, replacing Matloga with Knox Mutizwa, who would give them more attacking impetus.

Shortly after the interval, Michael Morton came close for the visitors when the ball was cleared from a corner and fell kindly to him, but his first-time volley skimmed the upright.

It was a surprisingly end-to-end game as Abafana Bes'thende responded with an attempt on goal of their own. Lunga's delivery found its way to Dube at the back who struck the ball at goal from a tight angle, but it cannoned back of the upright.

In the 70th minute, Arrows were denied what looked like a clear-cut penalty when replacement Lerato Lamola was manhandled in the box by Mabiliso.

Shortly afterwards, Buti Ncube's defence-splitting through ball found Ntuli, who controlled the ball delicately and cut inside Dube, but his effort was tame and straight at Arrows goalkeeper Maximilian Mbaeva.

The game petered out with both sides appearing content with a point as the sides shared the spoils.

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