Result: Golden Arrows 1-1AmaZulu
Date: 14 April 2019
Venue: Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium
The KwaZulu-Natal derby ended all square after Golden Arrows and Amazulu played to a 1-1 draw at Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium on Sunday.
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Arrows were having the better of the opening exchanges and were unlucky not to be awarded a penalty in the eighth minute when Sibusiso Mabiliso brought down Siyabonga Dube in the box.
However, it was Amazulu who took the lead in the 12th minute slightly against the run of play. After Marc van Heerden's curling free-kick was headed out for a corner, Usuthu had another set-piece opportunity and didn't disappoint. Siyethemba Sithebe's delivery was powerfully headed home by Togolese international Sadat Ouro-Akoriko.
Soon after, Usuthu had a chance to double the lead. After good work by Sphesihle Maduna, the ball was worked in to the box but Ovidy Karuru's shot was wayward.
Abafana Bes'thende equalized in the 18th minute. Divine Lunga won the free-kick on the edge of the box close to the byline after being pulled back by Thembela Sikhakhane. Richard Matloga hit the crossbar from a tight angle, but the ball fell kindly to Lunga, who tapped home from close-range.
The hosts had a chance to take the lead in the 28th minute but Sibusiso Sibeko leant back slightly while shooting from inside the box as the ball went a couple of metres over the crossbar.
Karuru and Bongi Ntuli were combining well for the visitors, with the former playing a through ball for his strike partner, but Ntuli sliced his effort from a promising position inside the box over the bar.
Soon after the break, Musa Bilankulu gave away a free-kick and Van Heerden delivered a tantalising ball in to the box, which was headed behind by an Arrows defender. From the resulting corner, the ball bounced back to Amazulu midfielder Michael Morton on the edge of the box, whose first-time volley went inches wide of the right-hand upright.
It was a surprisingly open game, as Arrows went up the other end moments after almost conceding and fashioned a good chance of their own. Lunga's cross to the back post fell kindly to Dube at the back post and his shot from a tight angle richocheted back off the left-hand upright before Usuthu cleared their lines.
On the hour mark, Sibeko almost pounced on an under-hit van Heerden back-pass but the central defender made amends with a last-ditch intervention.
Arrows were the side playing with more tempo and in the 70th minute were unlucky not to be awarded a penalty when subsitute Lerato Lamola was brought down in the box by Mabiliso.
Soon after, Usuthu appeared to have woken up as Butholezwe Ncube played a beautiful long ball in to the path of Ntuli, who brought the ball down expertly before cutting inside past Dube, but his shot was straight at Arrows goalkeeper Maximilian Mbaeva.
It was an evenly contested game and in the end a draw was probably the just result as the sides shared the spoils.
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Here's how they lined up:
Arrows: 1. Mbaeva, 29. Sibisi, 28. Bilankulu, 5. Mzava, 13. Lunga, 4. Venter, 26. Phiri, 14. Dube, 40. Mathenjwa, 7. Matloga, 22. Sibeko.
Subs: 33. Naicker, 12. Ndwandwe, 17. Jooste, 18. Mutizwa, 20. Mathiane, 23. Dube, 41. Lamola.
AmaZulu: 28. Mbatha, 24. Sikhakhane, 29. Mabiliso, 13. Ouro-Akoriko, 5. Van Heerden, 4. Morton, 6. Ncube, 34. Maduna, 14. Sithebe, 11. Karuru, 7. Ntuli.
Subs: 18. Josephs, 17. M.Gumede, 23. T.Gumede, 45. Ntsundwana, 9. Cele, 19. Chawapihwa, 10. Nomvethe.