Mothwa-inspired Usuthu hold Pirates

Veli Mothwa of AmaZulu FC saves a penalty during DStv Premiership 2022/23 match between Orlando Pirates and AmaZulu FC at Orlando Stadium on the 14 October 2022 Β© Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Veli Mothwa produced a Man of the Match performance as AmaZulu FC drew 1-1 with Orlando Pirates in a DStv Premiership match at the Orlando Stadium on Friday night.

Therefore, Usuthu remained ninth in the standings – two points behind sixth-placed Stellenbosch FC and the KwaZulu-Natal giants are scheduled to face Maritzburg United on Wednesday.

It was an end-to-end start in the opening exchanges in the city of Soweto with neither side looking happy just to sit back and invite pressure. Monnapule Saleng was unlucky not to score his first goal for Pirates when his free-kick hit the upright with eventual Man of the Match and goalkeeper Veli Mothwa well-beaten.

At the other end, Usuthu looked dangerous whenever they pushed forward and they awarded a penalty after goalkeeper Richard Ofori was adjudged to have fouled Lehlohonolo Majoro, who was substituted, in the hosts’ box. Siphesihle Maduna then stepped up and beat Ofori from the spot-kick to hand AmaZulu a 1-0 lead in the 35th minute.

Bucs responded by exerting pressure on the visitors and they managed to level matters as Mothwa netted an own goal when a low shot from Kermit Erasmus came off the Bafana Bafana shot-stopper before hitting the back of the net to make it 1-1 heading into the half-time break.

The two teams continued to attack each other after the restart with Pirates being forced to make a change when Ofori went down injured and Siyabonga Mponytshane replaced him. Pirates were awarded a penalty after Ramahlwe Mphahlele had handled the ball in the visitors’ box, but Mothwa denied Nkosinathi Sibisi from the spot-kick.

The momentum was with the hosts in the latter stages of the match and they had several opportunities to snatch a late winning goal. Deon Hotto’s exquisite cross found Ndabayithethwa Ndlondlo whose low shot was superbly saved by Mothwa who also denied Olisa Ndah with a wonderful save to ensure that the game ended in a 1-1 draw.

Pirates (1) 1 (Mothwa 45′)
AmaZulu (1) 1 (Maduna 35′)

Pirates: Ofori (Mpontshane 55′), Ndah, Sibisi, Maela, Shandu (Makaringe 22′), Hotto (Mako 77′), Timm, Motshwari (Dlamini 46′), Ndlondlo, Saleng, Erasmus (Peprah 75′).

AmaZulu: Mothwa, Sikhakhane, Hanamub, Mphahlele, Mobara, Buchanan (Bwalya 72′), Makhaula, Maluleka (Brooks 63′), Maduna (Kunene 63′), Kwem, Majoro (Ndlovu 34′).