Thanda Royal edge past Santos

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Neil_Tovey

Steve Haag Gallo Images

Thanda Royal Zulu coach Neil Tovey.

Thanda Royal Zulu secured their first win of the promotion play-offs when they came from behind to beat Santos 2-1 at the Athlone Stadium on Saturday night.

Santos made the early running, making good inroads down the right flank through Erwin Isaacs and Jonathan Armogam in particular.

But for all their endeavours, visiting keeper Nhlanhla Khuzwayo was not unduly troubled as the Cape side failed to create any clear chances on goal.

It was with their first real chance on goal that the hosts were to score as Nasief Morris powered home an 18th minute corner from Isaacs.

Thanda maintained the pressure through their passing game, but could not find ways to penetrate the home defence, whose quick closing down in midfield stifled their visitors' attempts.

The KZN side's best chance of the half came four minutes before the break, when Peter Nwadike struck a curling effort from 30-yards out which appeared destined for the top corner, but Santos goalkeeper Pa Demba Touray made a brave save as he launched himself through the air.

Santos had the first two chances of the second half, which on both occasions saw Eleazar Rodgers having his efforts on goal saved by Khuzwayo.

But the game was to turn on its head after 52 minutes as Amabhubesi scored twice in five minutes.

The equaliser saw Asanda Mvalo heading home Omar Hendricks' free kick, while the goal that saw Thanda leading for the fist time, also came via the aerial route as Edwin Sitaytayi ran in to head home a cross from Nkosinathi Ogle.

Thanda could have wrapped up the game in the 80th minute when Nwadike found himself unmarked in front of goal, but his headed effort was a weak one.

It did not however matter in the end as Neil Tovey's side held on for the vital win. - Sapa


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