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Another clean sheet for in-form Arubi

Washington Arubi’s Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila eased their relegation fears with a narrow 1-0 win over Bloemfontein Celtic in the DStv Premiership yesterday.

Washington Arubi
Washington Arubi

It was another clean sheet for the in-form ‘keeper.

A new front-trio of Menzi Ndwandwe, Neo Maema and Tumelo Mangweni came for Celtic, while Alfred Ndengane and Celimpilo Ngema picked out Tshakhuma’s changes from the loss at Cape Town City.

The hosts finally made the breakthrough following the remaining 14 minutes as Joseph Molangoane came to the fore to find the opener.

Celtic, who won the first round clash back in January this year 1-0 courtesy of Motebang Sera, entered the match on a run of three straight 1-1 draws.

Title chasing AmaZulu cut Mamelodi Sundowns’ lead at the top to one point after trouncing Cape Town City 5-1 yesterday.

Zimbabwe mifidfielder, Butholezwe Ncube, was introduced as a late substitute for Usuthu who also had Talent Chawapihwa on the bench.

The Citizens made four changes for the clash, with Taariq Fielies, Mpho Makola, Fagrie Lakay and Adul Ajagun all returning while Usuthu recalled Tapelo Nyongo and Augustine Mulenga.

The game started at a high tempo as Mulenga fired the visitors ahead in the ninth minute with a strike into the bottom corner after he was teed up by Lehlohonolo Majoro inside the box.

While the Citizens could not create clear chances, they conceded a penalty two minutes before the break after goalkeeper Peter Leeuwenburgh clipped Luvuyo Memela inside the box. Nyongo stepped up to take the spot-kick and sent Leeuwenburgh the wrong way to double the lead.

Jan Olde Riekerink made a double change at half-time, bringing on Mduduzi Mdantsane in place of Ajagun for fresh legs in attacking midfield while Craig Martin came on for Thamsanqa Mkhize, for the same reason at right wing-back.

However, AmaZulu had a perfect start in the second stanza as Majoro made it 3-0 four minutes after the break with a low strike inside the box after being set up by Mulenga.

Usuthu should have been 4-0 up ten minutes inside the second stanza from another spot-kick after Martin fouled Siyethemba Sithebe in the box but Xoki’s penalty was saved by Leeuwenburgh.

McCarthy’s men were awarded the third penalty of the evening in the 66th minute after Martin pushed Majoro and this time Memela made no mistake to make it 4-0 for the visitors.

City also won a penalty in the last 14 minutes after Aubrey Ngoma was fouled inside the box by Sithebe, however, Lakay could not capitalise, as he missed the target from 12-yards.

Lakay redeemed himself a minute later, as he pulled a goal back for the Citizens with a strike from the rebound after his initial shot hit the post.

AmaZulu were running riot in the dying minutes, as Sithebe added a fifth goal four minutes before time with a strike into the bottom corner after a through ball by Sibusiso Mabiliso.

Sundowns failed to return to winning ways after a goalless draw against Golden Arrows.

The absence of Gaston Sirino and Peter Shalulile opened a return for Sphelele Mkhulise and an appearance for Kermit Erasmus ahead of Gift Motupa up top.

Sundowns battled in the opening exchanges after a teasing delivery from the left-side by Divine Lunga put full-back Mosa Lebusa in a spot of bother at the back-post.

Masandawana began to take control towards the half-hour mark and launched a few openings, but Arrows stayed compact and smothered every entry filtering their way. Abafana Besthende as such seized momentum back in their favour 20 minutes from halftime and nearly forced Rivaldo Coetzee to an own-goal from a low cross by Pule Mmodi.

Sundowns, however, could have found the opener within five minutes of the break, but Lebohang Maboe volleyed over before Knox Mutizwa scuffed a one-on-one at the other end. An energetic start to the second half from Masandawana followed, as a shot from Aubrey Modiba worked a save off goalkeeper Sifiso Mlungwana.

Then, Themba Zwane carved space towards the centre of the six-yard area 12 minutes following the break to put Mlungwana to the test with a smart right-footed attempt from afar.

Arrows refused to back down despite Masandawana’s pressure play and managed to force a few saves off goalkeeper Denis Onyango through Mmodi, Mutizwa and Nkosinathi Sibisi.

Masandawana and Abafana Besthende continued to battle away before fulltime, but the match finished goalless to leave the host on top of the table and Arrows in third spot. — KickOff.com

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