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Unlucky Usuthu held by Chiefs
AmaZulu FC extended their unbeaten run in the DStv Premiership to five matches when they drew 1-1 with Kaizer Chiefs at the Jonsson Kings Park Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Luvuyo Memela opened his scoring account for the season to hand Usuthu the lead in the second-half and the result left coach Benni McCarthy’s side eighth on the league standings.
Usuthu dominated possession from the first whistle with Amakhosi happy to sit back and play on the counter – using the speed advantage in the flanks where Khama Billiat and Keagan Dolly were operating.
A quick move on the edge of the AmaZulu saw Billiat send Dolly through on goal, but the former HSC Montpellier winger’s effort was superbly blocked by goalkeeper Veli Mothwa in the 22nd minute.
This served as a wake up call for the hosts, who had a great chance to score when Sandile Khumalo found himself unmarked in the box in the 27th minute, but he was brilliantly denied by goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi.
Chiefs piled pressure on AmaZulu with the half-time break approaching, but Mothwa was in great form as he pulled off a fantastic save to deny Bernard Parker from close range, before tipping Billiat’s thunderus shot over the crossbar and the score was 0-0 at half-time.
Amakhosi were left to rue their wasted opportunities from the first-half when the hosts opened the scoring as Keagan Buchanan set-up Luvuyo Memela, who controlled the ball well, before firing past Akpeyi to hand AmaZulu a 1-0 lead in the 48th minute.
Usuthu did not sit back after taking the lead as they continued to attack and Akpeyi became a busy man – producing a fine save to deny Memela from close range and also blocked a powerful shot from Thabo Qalinge.
The momentum was with Chiefs in the closing stages with Phathutshedzo Nange and Dolly both being denied by Mothwa and Chiefs introduced Lebogang Manyama as the visitors looked to snatch a late equalising goal.
Manyama was keen to make an impact on the game and Chiefs were awarded a penalty in stoppage time after his cross was controversially handled by Tapelo Xoki in the box, and Dolly converted the resultant penalty to ensure that the game ended in a 1-1 draw.
AmaZulu 1 (Memela 48′)
Chiefs 1 (Dolly 90’+5)
AmaZulu: Mothwa, Malepe, Xoki, Gumede, Khumalo, Makhaula, Ceesay (Qalinge 46′), Buchanan (Mgwazela 75′), Memela (Mulenga 75′), Maduna (Mthembu 83′), Ntuli (Mlambo 64′)
Chiefs: Akpeyi, Frosler, NG, Ngcobo (Mashiane 84′), Mathoho, Dube, Blom, Alexander (Manyama 80′), Nange, Parker, Dolly, Billiat.