A late strike from outside the box by Falakhe Tshanini was enough for Umvoti FC, to clinch an important 1-1 away draw against Real Kings, at King Zwelithini Stadium in the second leg final match of the ABC Motsepe KwaZulu-Natal League playoffs.
The result yesterday favoured the side from Greytown as they were crowned KZN ABC Motsepe League champions thorough an away goal rule.
The much-anticipated match was marred with drama even before kick-off as the visitors were refused access to the dressing room, two hours before kick off.
As if that was not enough, match officials were late for the game, which resulted in the delay for the start of the match.
Umvoti were the better team in the first 10 minutes, but Kings absorbed the pressure and quickly dominated the match.
It was in the 31st minute when Real Kings striker Thabiso Radebe opened the scoring with a thunderous volley from outside the box, after receiving a pass from a goal kick.
The game came to life in the second half as both sides made their intentions clear of winning the game, with enterprising football and passing game.
Umvoti FC coach Doctor Mkhonza made some substitutions in the second half bringing in quick and offensive players like Diyo Sibisi and Sithabiso Mkhize, in search of an away goal.
Right at the death, on the 89th minute Tshanini came to the rescue for the Blue Army as he converted a set piece from the edge of the box, placing it at the far post.
Suddenly drama unfolded as Kings goalkeeper Sihle Mtshali went down and complained about light and his team refused to substitute him.
Match officials and SAFA officials from the province intervened and the match continued, to the delight of Umvoti players, who held on to the draw.
Umvoti FC were crowned KZN ABC Motsepe League Champs with an away goal rule and will have another chance to represent the province in the national playoffs.
By Wonga Sirayi
FARPost’s KZN Reporter