Memela inspires AmaZulu to historic CCL win

Luvuyo Memela of AmaZulu celebrates goal with teammates during the CAF Champions League 2021/22 match between AmaZulu and Horoya at Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban on 18 February 2022 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

AmaZulu FC defeated Horoya AC 1-0 in their second CAF Champions League Group B match at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in South Africa on Friday night.

Usuthu’s first-ever win in the group stage elevated them to the second spot on the Group B standings and they will now host Algeria’s ES Setif in their third game in this stage on February 25.

Guinea’s Horoya threatened first through Guinea international Morlaye Sylla, whose shot was well-saved by goalkeeper Veli Mothwa as the visitors looked to stun the hosts by grabbing an early lead.

Usuthu then took control of the match with Augustine Mulenga eager to use his mesmerising dribbling skills to cut open the Horoya defence and either create chances for his teammates or shoot at goal.

The former Orlando Pirates attacker was involved as AmaZulu took a 1-0 lead in the 31st minute as he set up Luvuyo Memela, who scored with a flicked backheel with the visitors’ defence exposed.

Mulenga continued to torment the Horoya defence and he played a quality cross for an unmarked Abraham Majok, but somehow the tall striker missed the target from close range with a header and AmaZulu were deservedly leading 1-0 at half-time.

Usuthu were under siege after the restart with HAC dominating the game with Mothwa forced to produce a decent save to deny Boniface Haba from inside the hosts’ box.

The Bafana Bafana keeper was then beaten by Sylla’s fierce shot which hit the woodwork and Haba missed the target from the rebound after Sandile Khumalo had made a mistake at the back with a poor pass.

Benni McCarthy, the AmaZulu head coach, responded by introducing Matarr Ceesay and Thabo Qalinge as the hosts looked to regain control of the match and kill off the game with another goal.

However, the visitors pushed for the equalising goal in the closing stages and Mothwa blocked a powerful free-kick from Seyei Baffour – ensuring that the match ended in a 1-0 win in favour of AmaZulu.

AmaZulu (1) 1 (Memela 31′)
Horoya (0) 0

AmaZulu: Mothwa, Gumede, Xoki, Khumalo, Zulu (Sikhakhane 85′), Makhaula, Buchanan (Mobara 85′), Mulenga, Memela (Ntuli 86′), Mlambo (Ceesay 66′), Majok (Qalinge 65′).

Horoya: Moussa Camara, Diaw, Coulibaly, Doumbouya, Mangue, F. Camara, Sylla (I. Camara 78′), Diarra (Baffour 56′), Ndiaye (Keita 71′), Haba, Mandela (Soumah 46′, Traore 86′).