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Sikhakhane inspires Usuthu to win at Gallants
AmaZulu FC claimed a 1-0 victory over Marumo Gallants in the DStv Premiership match at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Friday evening.
The victory took the KwaZulu-Natal giants to fourth place on the league standings after securing a victory courtesy of Thembela Sikhakhane’s late goal.
It was a quiet start to the match with no goalmouth action inside the opening 15 minutes of the encounter as the two teams sized each other up.
Bahlabane Ba Ntwa took control of the match towards the half-hour mark and they began taking shots from range as they looked to test AmaZulu’s second-choice goalkeeper Neil Boshoff.
Katlego Otladisa unleashed a shot which went wide of the target, before Ndabayithethwa Ndlondlo fired over the crossbar after he was afforded space and time to pull the trigger from range by the Usuthu defence.
Ndlondlo, was creating problems for the AmaZulu backline, tried his luck again from range after beating his marker and this time his attempt went wide of the target and the score was 0-0 at half-time.
AmaZulu saw most of the ball after the restart – pushing for the opening goal and Gallants head coach Dan Malesela decided to introduce attackers Monde Mphambaniso and Mahlatse Makudubela.
Coach Benni McCarthy responded by introducing Tshepang Moremi, who scored his first ever goal in the local top flight against Orlando Pirates in Durban on December 8.
The visitors then grabbed a late goal when Keagan Buchanan’s well-taken free-kick was turned home by Thembela Sikhakhane to hand AmaZulu a 1-0 lead with three minutes left on the clock.
Boshoff then pulled off a fantastic diving save to deny Makudubela in stoppage time and ultimately, AmaZulu emerged 1-0 winners as they snapped their seven-match winless run.
AmaZulu 1 (Sikhakhane 87′)
Gallants: Arubi, Nkili, Kgoetyane, Mabotja, Nonyane, Timm, Dion, Otladisa (Lamola 90’+1), Ngema, Ndlondlo (Mphambaniso 65′), Mnyamane (Makudubela 65′).
AmaZulu: Boshoff, Sikhakhane, Malepe (Zulu 85′), Xoki, Gumede, Makhaula, Buchanan, Sithebe (Sithebe 34), Ntuli, Majoro (Moremi 71′), Memela (Mthembu 85′).