Kwem hat-trick fires Usuthu past Arrows

Augustine Kwem of AmaZulu FC celebrates goal during the DStv Premiership 2023/24 match between Golden Arrows and AmaZulu FC at Mpumalanga Stadium in Hammarsdale on the 12 November 2023 Β© Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

AmaZulu FC bounced back to winning ways in the DStv Premiership when they claimed a 3-1 win over Golden Arrows at the Mpumalanga Stadium in Hammarsdale on Sunday.

The win in the KwaZulu-Natal Derby elevated Usuthu to the eighth spot on the league standings and they will be targeting their third win in a row across all competitions when they face Stellenbosch FC on 25 November.

Usuthu suffered a blow in the 11th minute as one of their key defenders, Thembela Sikhakhane went down injured and he was replaced by fellow experienced defender Ramahlwe Mphahlele.

Abafana Bes’thende upped the tempo and they managed to break the deadlock in the 17th minute when Ryan Moon’s flicked header was turned home by Gladwin Shitolo who handed Arrows a 1-0 lead at half-time in what was AmaZulu’s first game since the passing of Bonginkosi Ntuli.

However, a courageous Usuthu side pushed for the equalising goal after the restart with coach Pablo Franco Martin having introduced Augustine Chidi Kwem in the 71st minute. The Nigerian striker made it 1-1 with 10 minutes left.

The visitors did not sit back after leveling matters as they continued to surge forward in numbers and they took the lead for the first time in the 83rd minute when Riaan Hanamub set up Kwem who made it 2-1 to AmaZulu.

The former Chippa United star was not done as he completed his hat-trick in stoppage time. Kwem received a pass from Celimpilo Ngema and he then fired past goalkeeper Ismail Watenga to seal AmaZulu’s 3-1 win.

Arrows (1) 1 Shitolo 17′)
AmaZulu (0) 3 (Kwem 80′, 83′, 90’+3)

Arrows: Watenga, Shitolo, Cross, Mantshiyane, Mhlongo, Dube (Ncube 78′), Tlolane (Mshanti 57′), Ndwandwe, Zwane (Sibiya 57′), Moon, Van Rooi (Gbagbo 86′)

AmaZulu: Mothwa, Gumede (Maluleka 88′), Sikhakhane (Mphahlele 11′), Mobara, Hanamub, Jooste, Motshwari (Moremi 46′), Ekstein (Mbanjwa 71′), Ngema, Brooks (Kwem 71′), Dion.