AmaZulu (2) 2
Lamontville Golden Arrows (0) 0
Amazulu outclassed and outmastered Lamontville Golden Arrows yesterday at King Zwelithini Stadium in Umlazi in the KwaZulu-Natal derby as they brushed off their sworn rivals, Abafana Bes'thende 2-0.
Bongi Ntuli delivered up on his promise when he broke the deadlock four minutes in to the game against his former team. He was menacing and deadly.
Both sides were still trying to find their feet when Ntuli put Usuthu in the lead with a well taken strike. Michael Morton provided the assist as he flicked the ball between Nkanyiso Mngwengwe and Limbikani Mzava and then Ntuli reacted quickly as he got in to the ball ahead of the dou. Ntuli didn't do a lot of things but he unleashed a bullet to beat Max Mbaeva. Ntuli made his professional debut in the colours of Abafana Bes'thende back in 2012.
A lack of communication and poor decision making between Mbongeni Gumede and Siyabonga Mbatha almost gifted Usuthu an early Christmas present but they survived the scare as Knox Mutizwa's interception went off target.
Usuthu suffered a major blow when their red hot talisman, Emiliano Tade, sustained a knee injury earlier in the game. The Argentinian was involved in an aggressive tackle with Mngwengwe. He was later, replaced by Ovidy Karuru in the first half.
Abafana Bes'thende gained momentum towards the dying minutes of the first half. They created two glorious opportunities but failed to convert them.
Lerato Lamola got the better of Phumlani Gumede and delivered a quality cross to pinpoint Seth Parusnath who directed his header over the bar. He was unmarked in the box and should have punished Usuthu. Lamola was starting to cause all sorts of problems for Usuthu and did a great work messemerising the defence of Arrows but his execution let him down as he ballooned his attempt over the bar.
When Victor Gomes is around there's is never a dull moment. During the last minute of the first the first half, Gomes, penalised Mngwengwe for bringing down Ntuli inside the box. Ntuli dusted himself off and converted for his brace. Usuthu went in to the interval cruising at 2-0. Cavin Johnson outmastered Clinton Larsen with clever game plan.
Usuthu didn't use the wingers as they left that space for the likes of Ntuli, Tade and Karuru to make runs. That's also gave their full-backs a space to storm forward. Johnson also packed the midfield with the trio of Nhlanhla Vilakazi, Butholezwe Ncube and Morton.
Ntuli came close to notch up a hat-trick. He went one against one with Mbaeva but shot straight at home.
Larsen made two double substitutions in his attempt to conjure up a sensational comeback. Usuthu controlled the game and created better goalscoring chances in the game. They are now tied with Arrows on 16 points after 15 games.
Ayabulela Konqobe made his debut for Usuthu. He replaced Thapelo Nyongo. Siyabonga Nomvethe was only given few seconds in his last appearance. He came in the place of Ntuli. Usuthu finished the year unbeaten at King Zwelithini Stadium.@minenhlecr7