Usuthu strike late to defeat City 3-2

Junior Dion of AmaZulu FC celebrates goal during the DStv Premiership 2023/24 match between AmaZulu FC and Cape Town City on the 17 September 2023 at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban © Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

AmaZulu recorded a dramatic 3-2 win over Cape Town City in a DStv Premiership match played at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Sunday.

A second successive league win for Usuthu raised them to fourth on the log with nine points from six matches, with substitute Junior Dion the hero after his two-goal haul in injury time at the end of the game.

AmaZulu claimed the lead as early as the sixth minute, as City goalkeeper Bongani Mpandle fumbled a free kick delivered into the middle of the box, allowing Mbongeni Gumede to easily stroke home the loose ball for 1-0.

The hosts were inches away from a brilliant second goal on 13 minutes when Mpandle punched a corner kick clear of the penalty area, only for Hendrick Ekstein to fire a thunderous volley onto the crossbar from long range.

The Citizens levelled the game on 26 minutes when a fine ball out of defence from Keanu Cupido allowed Mayo, who had enjoyed several opportunities earlier in the game, to lob goalkeeper Veli Mothwa from the edge of the box for 1-1.

The Cape side looked more potent for the remainder of the first half, but the score remained level up to the interval.

And City continued their momentum in the second stanza, claiming the lead for the first time in the 58th minute when substitute Juan Zapata teed up Tshegofatso Nyama, who struck home a low, left-footed shot for 2-1.

On 69 minutes Usuthu were close to an equaliser when Riaan Hanamub struck for goal directly from a free kick – his effort took a deflection off the top of the wall and looked headed for the top corner, but Mpandle made an excellent save to keep the visitors ahead.

City looked set to see out the game and claim victory, but two minutes into injury time a Hanamub corner kick was flicked on by Ramahlwe Mphahlele, and steered home by substitute Junior Dion for 2-2.

A draw seemed the inevitable result, but more drama arrived in the seventh minute of injury time when a scramble in the City box ended with Dion firing home a scrappy goal for a 3-2 win which delighted the home fans.

AmaZulu will next be in DStv Premiership action when they visit Polokwane City on Monday 25 September.

AmaZulu (1) 3 (Gumede 6’, Dion 90+2’ 90+7’)
Cape Town City (1) 2 (Mayo 26’, Nyama 58’)

AmaZulu: Mothwa, Gumede, Mphahlele, Mobara, Hanamub, Sikhakhane, Brooks (Ntuli 85’), Ekstein (Malepe 46’), Moremi, Ngema (Letsoalo 78’), Kwem (Dion 46’)

City: Mpandle, Mkhize, Cupido, Van Heerden, Nyama (Gordinho 78’), Ambina, Nodada, Goedeman (Mokeke 78’), Gonzalez, Kutumela (Zapata 46’), Mayo (Rhodes 78’)