Usuthu suffer cruel defeat to Richards Bay

Mpho Mathebula of Richards Bay FC challenges Dumisani Zuma of AmaZulu FC during DStv Premiership 2022/23 match between AmaZulu FC and Richards Bay FC at Moses Mabhida Stadium on the 05 October 2022 © Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

AmaZulu were denied a share of the derby spoils on Wednesday after a late Veli Mothwa own-goal handed Richards Bay a 1-0 win at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.

The manner of the Natal Rich Boyz’ winner was fortuitous as the ball came back off the crossbar and struck Mothwa before rolling over the line.

Brandon Truter’s side came into the KZN derby looking to arrest a four-match winless run, but they were on the back foot for much of the first half as Mothwa earned his pay.

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Our best chance of the half fell to Augustine Kwem, who dragged his shot wide of the near post from inside the area on the left in the 16th minute after Abel Mabaso had steered a header past the left post for the visitors from a corner five minutes earlier.

Mothwa was tested for the first time on 33 minutes when he kept out Somila Ntsundwana’s effort from inside the box and the goalkeeper was called into action again seven minutes later with a superb save to deny Sanele Barns after the midfielder ran clean through on goal.

Mothwa was also required to save shots from Mpho Mathebula and Ntsundwana in the closing stages of the half as we went into the interval all-square.

Usuthu came out in the second half intent on breaking the deadlock and Kwem drew a save out of Jamal Salim on 51 minutes after getting on the end of Abbubaker Mobara’s cross, while Tercious Malepe forced the keeper into another save with his header from Ethan Brooks’ delivery on the hour mark.

The referee had to halt proceedings temporarily on 74 minutes as a result of lightning and the hosts threatened again soon after the action resumed as Thembela Sikhakhane directed a header just wide of the right post from a free-kick.

Sikhakhane gave Salim more work to do on 78 minutes with a strike from inside the area that required saving and with time running out, Richards Bay won a free-kick in a dangerous position in stoppage time and Mothwa inadvertently let in Sakhile Hlongwa’s set-piece when it rebounded off the frame of the goal.

AmaZulu (0) 0
Richards Bay (0) 1 (Mothwa OG 90+2′)

AmaZulu: V. Mothwa, M. Gumede (S. Khumalo 21′), A. Mobara, R. Mphahlele, T. Sikhakhane, R. Malepe, E. Brooks, S. Mabiliso (M. Kunene 78′), G. Maluleka, A. Kwem (R. Bwalya 78′), L. Majoro (D. Zuma 67′).