AmaZulu down Swallows for first win
AmaZulu recorded their first win of the season when they came back from a goal down to record a 2-1 win over Moroka Swallows at the King Zwelithini Stadium on Wednesday night.
David Mathebula put the visitors ahead in the first half, but Usuthu found the equaliser through Ayanda Dlamini deep in the second half, before Thokozani Mshengu netted the winner in added time.
The hosts held a larger share of the ball possession in the first half, but failed to make it count as they lacked the killer pass in the final third, while some shots went astray.
The first real chance of the match arrived in the 12th minute after some good work on the left by Bongani Mbele, but Thokozani Mshengu saw his final shot blocked by a defender, while Ayanda Dlamini sent his shot over the crossbar seconds later.
Then in the 21st minute the hosts attacked from the right with Tsweu Mokoro delivering a dangerous cross into the box, but there weren’t enough of his teammates to put pressure on Greg Etafia as he collected the ball.
Six minutes later Mbele had the best chance of the half when he was put through on the left side of the penalty area, but the winger was denied by Etafia who managed to prevent the ball from squeezing in at his near post.
Then in the 31st minute Usuthu almost benefitted when a corner was cleared into the path of Philani Cele, who was lurking just outside the penalty area, but his strike flew just wide of the top right corner.
Four minutes later Felix Obada laid the ball back for Giorgi Nergadze, but the Swallows defender also saw his shot sailing high and wide of the target.
The opening goal eventually arrived in the 36th minute when Mathebula was offered too much room on the edge of the penalty area after receiving a pass from Nomvethe, and the midfielder placed his low left-footed shot beyond the reach of a scrambling Philani Zikalala, 1-0.
Usuthu continued to pile on the pressure in the second half and in the 51st minute Ayanda Dlamini managed to get his header on target, connecting with a cross from Mshengu, but Etafia was able to pluck the ball from the air.
A minute later Ayanda found Senamela on the edge of the penalty area, who struck the ball sweetly with the outside of his boot, but his shot whistled past the left upright.
Siyabonga Nomvethe should have doubled the lead for the Dube Birds in the 56th minute when an error from Cele allowed him to be face-to-face with Zikalala, but his powerful strike was pushed wide by the goalkeeper.
Six minutes later Usuthu thought they should have been awarded a penalty when Mbele went down inside the box under a challenge from Rudi Isaacs, but their appeals fell on deaf ears as referee Phillip Tinyani waved play on.
The hosts continued to press forward for the equaliser and in the 65th minute Mbele shot wide from just outside the box, while Marc Van Heerden saw his free-kick punched away three minutes later.
Usuthu eventually levelled matters nine minutes later when Etafia failed to hold on to a stinging free-kick from Van Heerden, allowing Ayanda Dlamini to smash the rebound into the back of the net, 1-1.
Determined to get more from this match, the home side continued to commit men forward and they were rewarded in the first minute of added time when Mshengu placed a brilliant left-footed curler into the far post, 2-1.
AmaZulu (0) 2 (A. Dlamini 4’, Mshengu 90+1’)
Moroka Swallows (1) 1 (Mathebula 36’)
AmaZulu: Zikalala, Mokoro, Van Heerden, Nyadombo, Cele P, Senamela, Kgatla, Mshengu, Mbele (Dube 71’), G. Dlamini (Madondo 85’), A. Dlamini (Lekata 80’)
Moroka Swallows: Etafia, Isaacs, Mungomeni, Da Costa (Mapemba 65’), Lekgothoane, Nergadze, Tsutsulupa, Mathebula (Chabangu 60’), Chenene, Nomvethe, Obada (Mashego 46’)