AmaZulu FC were narrowly defeated 1-0 by Lamontville Golden Arrows in a DStv Premiership match at the Princess Magogo Stadium on Wednesday night.
It is Usuthu’s maiden defeat of the campaign which left them placed third on the league standings. The team will now face Cape Town City in the MTN8 quarter-final clash in the Mother City on Saturday.
The two teams attacked each other from the first whistle with neither side happy to sit back and allow the other to dominate the game. Abafana Bes’thende threatened first when Velemseni Ndwandwe forced goalkeeper Veli Mothwa into a save as the visitors looked to break the deadlock.
Arrows did take a 1-0 lead in the 27th minute following a quick move by the 2009 MTN8 champions. Ndwandwe, who was looking lively, set-up Pule Mmodi and the attacker hit the back of the net from close range to hand the visitors the lead with the Usuthu defence exposed.
AmaZulu responded by exerting pressure on the visitors’ defence and they came close to scoring when keeper Nkosingiphile Gumede pulled off a decent save to deny Lehlohonolo Majoro. The score was 1-0 to Arrows during the half-time break.
The hosts pushed for the equalising after the restart with Frank Mhango working hard upfront. The former Orlando Pirates centre forward had a chance to level matters, but his header was well saved by Nkosingiphile Gumede who keen to keep a clean sheet on the night.
AmaZulu coach Brandon Truter made changes as he introduced Siphesihle Maduna, Bonginkosi Ntuli and Keagan Buchanan who has two assists in the current season. The KwaZulu-Natal giants then launched late attacks as they looked to level matters.
However, the Nkosingiphile Gumede and his defence which was marshalled by Thabani Zuke stood firm in the latter stages of the match and ultimately, Arrows emerged as 1-0 winners on the night.
AmaZulu (0) 0
Arrows (1) 1 (Mmodi 27′)
AmaZulu XI: Mothwa, Sikhakhane, Hanamub, Gumede, Mphahlele, Maluleka (Zuma 76′), Makhaula, Brooks (Buchanan 73′), Mhango, Kwem (Ntuli 61′), Majoro (Maduna 61′).
Arrows: Gumede, Ndlovu, Nxadi, Zuke , Lunga, L.Dube, Dlamini, Mmodi (Mantsinyane 88′), Sibiya (Fikizolo 78′), Ndwandwe, Mutizwa.