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Aces Reach Play-Offs, TRZ Lose Out

National First Division

Result: Mpumalanga Black Aces 1-1 Thanda Royal Zulu

Date: 19 May 2013

Venue: Themba Senamela Stadium

Referee: Daniel Bennett

Thanda Royal Zulu narrowly lost out on the chance to win a place in the promotion play-offs as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Mpumalanga Black Aces on Sunday.

Peter Wadwaba cancelled out Thabang Rooi’s goal as Aces and TRZ finished the NFD season in third and fourth place respectively. Coming into the match Aces were leading the league, but failed to claim the title as Polokwane City won at Roses United and Santos defeated Jomo Cosmos to claim second place.

Amabhubesi were the ones doing the early attacking and had two decent chances inside the opening 15 minutes. First it was Mbuso Manyoni’s header which went wide, then some good defending from Aces’ Omar Hendricks kept the visitors from getting a vital final touch.

Another great attack from the visitors resulted in Manyoni having another chance to score, but this time his right-footed effort rolled just wide of the post.

Just before the half hour Amabhubesi skipper Asanda Mvalo found the gloves of Aces goalkeeper Bafana Nhlapo when his thunderous free-kick looked destined for the back of the net. 

Two minutes into the second period Manyoni should have given Thanda the lead when he found himself clear on goal, but his effort went straight into the hands of Nhlapo.

Aces then introduced Houston Hills from the bench and the striker brought his side to life and nearly got the lead when his one-two resulted in a brilliant shot, but Nimrod Twenga came up trumps with the save. The goal then came seconds later when Rooi rose above the TRZ defence and nodded the corner into the back of the net.

There was an anxious moment for the home side on the hour when Nhlapo found himself stranded outside his area, but Wadwaba failed to punish the Aces keeper as his shot flew over the top. With 18 minutes to play, Wadwaba made up for his earlier miss when he headed home a vital equaliser from a pinpoint cross.

Hills could have won it in stoppage time for Aces, but his shot from the edge of the area drifted wide of the upright.

Aces: Bafana Nhlapo, Omar Hendricks, Luckyboy Mokoena, Thabang Rooi, Nkululeleko Tshangane, Thabo Qalinge, Essau Mtsweni (Setjhaba Mmuso 71), Themba Njwaga, Siyabonga Nontshinga, Zaid Patel (Houston Hills 53)

Subs: Gregory Mabena, Rae Ryan, Mfanelo Makume, Phetolo Sekome, Muzikayifani Ngidi

TRZ: Nimrod Tsengwa, Sifiso Hlanti, Christoph Komane, Asanda Mvalo, Diamond Thopola, Nkosinathi Mthiyane, Gerald Xowana (Christopher Manoka 58), Vusi Mthimkulu (Gordon Gilbert 71), Lunga Zondi, Mbuso Manyoni (Peter Wadwaba 60), Mhlengi Cele.

Subs: Samkelo Mbambo, Nduduzo Phakathi, Boubacar Talatou, Thobelani Maneli

Goals: Thabang Rooi (Black Aces, 58), Peter Wadwaba (TRZ, 72)

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