Golden Arrows needed a stoppage time goal by Rudolf Bester to secure their late 3-2 Absa Premiership win over Polokwane City at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The visitors initially took the lead through Puleng Tlolane, but Victor Gomes’ offering of three penalties in the fixture meant the two teams looked destined to share the spoils. However, Bester’s late display at the last touch of the game helped Shaun Bartlett’s men secure a crucial three points.
The home side were without head coach Mark Harrison and goalkeeper Ryan Harrison as they both parted ways with the club unexpectedly ahead of the encounter. Bartlett took over as interim coach.
Arrows showed their statement of intent from the first whistle when Festus Mbewe burst into the box and struck a powerful left-footed drive which flew straight over the angular.
Debutant Arthur Bartman had to wait until the 15th minute for him to make his first save of the match when he ran off his line and snatched onto Galabgwe Moyana’s curling free-kick into the box.
Modiri Marumo performed a save off his line five minutes later before his resulting goal-kick allowed for the visitors to push for a counter-attack and get the deadlock breaking goal. Puleng Tlolane made a run in on goal before looping a past Bartman.
Thanduyise Khuboni ensured things were back level just after the half hour mark when he converted a penalty following a soft foul on Vuysile Ntombaythethi inside the box.
Marumo performed a great save just minutes later when he beat away Bongi Ntuli’s snapshot inside the box, before seeing an effort from his save blasted straight over the bar.
Victor Gomes pointed to the penalty spot for the second time of the afternoon in favour of Arrows three minutes before the interval. Khuboni converted for the second time of the afternoon before Polokwane City were handed a spot-kick themselves.
It was a rather harsh penalty against Chris Katjiukua, who seemed to have won the ball in the box inside stoppage time. It saw Siphesihle Nzimande convert from the six-yard area as his second attempt hit the upright and rolled into the back of the net just before the break.
Polokwane City showed a lot more composure coming out of the interval while Golden Arrows struggled to threaten when they worked their way into the box.
The second half was far from the entertaining football that set the stage alight in the opening 45 minutes but a stoppage time goal by Bester ensured Arrows were left smiling.
The goalscorer came off the bench midway through the second half and pounced on a loose ball in the final minutes before beating Marumo to secure an emphatic win.
Golden Arrows (2) 2 (Khuboni 32’pen, 42’pen)
Polokwane City (2) 3 (Tlolane 21’, Nzimande 46’pen, Bester 93’)
Golden Arrows: Bartman, Zwane, Musonda, Ntombaythethi, Tom, Katjiukua, Hotto, Shange (Thwala 71’), Khuboni, Ntuli (Bester 72’), Mbewe (Zothwane 89’)
Polokwane City: Marumo, Molekwane, Lichaba, Mngqibisa, Tshilo, Sibande, Moyana (Gopane 67’), Jembula (Mdluli 69’), Nzimande, Tlolane, Maluleke (Mncwango 82’) – BackpageTxt