Arrows and AmaZulu settle for a draw in KZN derby

Share

The match lived to its magnitude with tackles flying in the midfield and players getting bookings for silly fouls and drama taking place.

AmaZulu enjoyed much of possession in the first 10 minutes of the match in the Arrows half.

The likes of Nkosinathi Sibisi, Sbonelo Cele and Thabani Zuke had to deal with the danger, while Sifiso Mlungwana stood tall.

Luvuyo Memela should have put AmaZulu ahead in the 10th minute with volley, but Mlungwana made a point blank save.

Sibonelo Cele was the first man to go into Victor Gomes books after a foul on Luvuyo Memela  next to the touch line.

Soon after Kgotso Moleko, Siyethemba Sithebe, Luvuyo Memela and Samkelo Mgwazela all got booked in the first half.

AmaZulu played some enterprising game with great passes in the middle of the park and the ball found Bongi Ntuli who forced a save from Mlungwana for a corner.

From the resulting corner Siphesihle Maduna curled a low corner which found Tshepho Masilela and ended in Xola Mlambo’s path to open the scoring for Usuthu.

After conceding, Arrows decided to come out of their half and it paid of six minutes later as they found the equalizing goal from a penalty.

Masilela handled the ball in the box and Gomes pointed on the spot, Knox Mutizwa calmly finished from 12 yards.

Abafana Bes’thende were awarded another penalty after Memela fouled Sibisi in the box but Mutizwa his the woodwork, with Veli Mothwa making a match-winning save.

Just before half time AmaZulu should have been one goal up, but the woodwork came into Arrows rescue, with Zuke clearing the lines.

AmaZulu coach Benni McCarthy brought on Mbongeni Gumede for Moleko who had picked at injury in the first half.

With AmaZulu attacking against the wing, the home side started taking control of the match and forced Usuthu to defend deep.

McCarthy’s charges absorbed the pressure and managed to go forward and should have been ahead as Maduna curled a free kick just outside the box.

Mlungwana parried the ball to the cross bar and it went out for a corner.

With substitutions coming thick and fast, it was Arrows’ main man Matome Mathiane, who made the difference from the bench in the 77th minute.

After coming on just after the hour mark, he managed to rise and connect from a corner that beat Mothwa to give Arrows the lead.

Two minutes later Sibisi was judged to have fouled Maduna in the box and Gomes awarded a third penalty of the match.

Ntuli took the responsibility and fired the ball to the back of the net to restore parity.

Both teams sent men forward whenever they had the ball, looking for a winner but it was not to be as they settled for 2-2 stalemate.

The match certainly lived up to the expectations, and it was an entertaining football match for neutrals.

By Wonga Sirayi

FARPost’s KZN Reporter