Usuthu edge Arrows in derby
AmaZulu got their first Absa Premiership win of the year when they defeated local rivals Lamontville Golden Arrows 1-0 at the King Zwelithini Stadium on Saturday night.
Ayanda Dlamini scored the winner in the second half after he and his teammates had been guilty of wasting a number of good scoring opportunities in the first half.
The hosts fired the first shot on target in the third minute after they were awarded a freekick about 30 yards out, but Ntlantla Zothwane sent his effort straight at the AmaZulu goalkeeper Tapuwa Kapini.
Six minutes later the Arrows goalkeeper Pavels Steinbors was brought into action at the other end as he came off his line to punch the ball away after Carlington Nyadombo had head the ball into the danger area from Njabulo Manqana’s corner.
Then in the 18th minute Ayanda Dlamini made a great run to connect with a cross from Nkanyiso Cele, only to send his header over the crossbar.
Two minutes later AmaZulu failed to clear their lines, allowing Thamsanqa Gabuza to have a shot from the left side of the box, but Kapini did well to parry the ball to safety.
Andile Khumalo should have done better in the 24th minute when he received a pass from Thokozani Mshengu just inside the penalty area, but he failed to get his shot on target, sending his effort over the crossbar.
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Usuthu continued to waste their chances and two minutes later Njabulo Manqana curled his shot wide from inside the box following some good work from Ayanda Dlamini on the right.
Then in the 37th minute Steinbors spilled a cross from Mshengu straight into the path of Ayanda Dlamini, but somehow the Usuthu striker sent his shot over the bar from close range.
Two minutes later a great long pass from Mshengu saw Ayanda Dlamini through on goal in the middle, but Steinbors used his leg to block his effort before Ritus Krjauklis cleared the ball just before the line.
Arrows had another rare clear chance two minutes before halftime when Zothwane found Gabuza on the left side of the box, but Kapini did well to come off his line to block his shot, keeping the score at 0-0 going into the break.
The home side were the first to threaten in the second half with Gabuza firing against the sidenetting in the 54th minute, before he sent his first time shot wide two minutes later after making a good run to meet with a long pass from Jabulani Nene.
However, it was AmaZulu who eventually opened the scoring on the hour mark as Ayanda Dlamini collected a pass from Manqana on the left and this time showed composure as he curled his shot into the far post.
Manqoba Mngqithi’s side almost equalised just two minutes later under fortuitous circumstances when a cross from Tshepo Liphoko almost caught the AmaZulu goalkeeper off his line, but the ball came off the crossbar.
Then in the 75th minute Jabulani Nene tried his luck with a low shot from outside the box but he was unable to put enough power on his strike and Kapini was able to make a comfortable save.
Ten minutes later substitute Tshepo Liphoko went on a good run on the run before cutting inside to switch the ball to his left foot, but his low shot went wide of the target.
Abafana Bes’thende came close to snatching a point in the second minute of added time when a cross from Liphoko found Lucky Nguzana at the near post, but the substitute was denied by an excellent save from Kapini who pushed the ball wide of the post.
The results moved AmaZulu from the bottom of the tale into 15th place with 16 points, while Arrows remain in 11th place with 19 points.
Lamontville Golden Arrows 0
AmaZulu (0) 1 (A Dlamini 60’)
Arrows: Steinbors, Hadebe, Krjauklis (Musonda 68’), Zwane, Bovu, Sithole, Nene, Khuboni, Zothwane (Liphoko 56’), Gabuza (Nguzana 74’), Ntuli
AmaZulu: Kapini, Hlongwa, Cele N, Nyadombo, Teyise, Madondo, Dlamini G, Manqana, Mshengu (Malongoane 81’), Khumalo, Dlamini A (Ndulula 84’)