Result: AmaZulu 3-3 Mamelodi Sundowns
Date: 16 September 2018
Venue: King Zwelithini Stadium
AmaZulu and Mamelodi Sundowns shared the spoils in a six-goal thriller as their Absa Premiership match on Sunday ended 3-3.
It was a great start to the match for the home side with AmaZulu’s Butholezwe Ncube robbing Andile Jali of the ball and then proceeding to fire a 24-yard shot into the bottom corner, 1-0.
Sundowns saw a lot of possession after that, but they struggled to fashion any decent goal scoring chances.
Instead, AmaZulu came close to doubling their lead in the 25th minute when a right-sided free-kick from Jabulani Ncobeni resulted in a goal-mouth scramble inside the Sundowns box that saw Tapelo Nyongo pounce on the loose ball, but he was denied from six-yards out after a great save from Reyaad Pieterse.
On the half hour mark, Sundowns did pull level when Phakamani Mahlambi latched onto a great long ball from Hlompho Kekana inside the box. The striker saw his initial shot saved by the AmaZulu keeper, but Mahlambi quickly followed-up to tap home from close range, 1-1
The Brazilians dominated proceedings for the remainder of the half, but they could not find a second goal before the break.
In fact, AmaZulu nearly took the lead for the second time in the 40th minute when Ncobeni struck the top side of the Sundowns crossbar with a 16-yard shot.
A minute into the second half, Sundowns took the lead when a great piece of skill from Toni Silva saw him beat defender Sibusiso Mabiliso on his way into the box and then Moeneeb Josephs as he slotted the ball under the keeper, 2-1.
AmaZulu quickly hit back in the 48th minute when a harmless ball into the box was spilled into the path of Ncobeni by Pieterse and the Usuthu man duly fired home from ten-yards out, 2-2.
The next decent effort on goal only came on the hour mark when Siyethemba Sithebe turned on the edge of the box before firing an effort goalwards which was parried away by the goalkeeper.
AmaZulu took the lead for the second time in the 73rd minute when a well-worked set-piece ended with Bongi Ntuli tapping the ball home from six-yards out, 3-2.
Sundowns spent the final 15 minutes of the match throwing players forward and they were rewarded with an equalising goal in the 86th minute when substitute Sibusiso Vilakazi tucked home a left-wing cross from Tebogo Langerman to see the match end 3-3.
Here is how they lined up.
AmaZulu: 18 Josephs, 24 Sikhakhane, 27 Nyongo, 17 M Gumede, 29 Mabiliso, 22 Ramphela (33 Darpoh 85’), 6 Ncube, 50 Vilakazi, 8 Ncobeni (9 Cele 75’), 14 Sithebe, 7 Ntuli (2 Khenyeza 87’).
Subs: 28 Mbatha, 40 Slawula, 33 Darpoh, 2 Khenyeza, 20 Tade, 9 Cele, 45 Ntsudwana.
Sundowns: 31 Pieterse, 16 Ngcongca, 6 Arendse, 3 Nascimento, 4 Langerman, 33 Maboe, 8 Kekana, 5 Jali (23 Lakay 78’), 7 Meza (11 Vilakazi 75’), 34 Mahlambi, 24 Silva (27 Morena 82’).
Subs: 1 Mweene, 2 Lebusa, 22 Brockie, 23 Lakay, 11 Vilakazi, 27 Morena, 13 Mabunda.