Absa Premiership match report AmaZulu v Golden Arrows 22 December 2018
Posted: 22 December 2018 Time: 12:59
Bonginkosi Ntuli's first-half brace was enough to give Amazulu a 2-0 victory over Golden Arrows in an inter-provincial derby at King Goodwill Zwelithini on Saturday.
The victory sends Amazulu level on points with their Kwazulu-Natal rivals and coach Cavin Johnson will be delighted with his side's display.
The home side began the brighter of the two sides and broke the deadlock as early as the fourth minute when Michael Morton's flick-on found Bonginkosi Ntuli, who unleashed a powerful half-volley with the outside of his foot in to the top corner.
Usuthu were playing some fluid, one-touch football, with midfielder Ace Ncube's blistering volley rising inches above the cross-bar in the 11th minute.
In the 15th minute, AmaZulu's Argentine striker Emiliano Tade was stretchered off with what looked like a serious injury
Soon after, Golden Arrows had an excellent chance of their own but Divine Lunga skewed his effort narrowly wide. Indeed, Golden Arrows were growing steadily in to the game and enjoying more of the possession as they chased an equaliser.
In the 35th minute, it looked as if they could capitalise on their dominance when Lunga's precision through-ball found Lerato Lamola but the Arrows forward's curling strike went narrowly over the woodwork.
With five minutes to go before half-time, Morton almost added a goal to his assist but his scorcher of a long-range effort skimmed off the turf and narrowly wide.
Soon after, the hosts would have their second. Victor Gomes had no choice but to point to the spot when Nkhanyiso Mngwengwe hacked down Ntuli in the box. The striker dusted himself off before coolly sending the keeper the wrong way, grabbing his brace and making it 2-0 to the hosts as the sides headed in to the interval.
Ten minutes in to the second stanza, AmaZulu substitute striker Ovidy Karuru missed a sitter to make it 3-0 and all but end the contest when he failed to connect with Ncube's pinpoint cross from close-range.
And the hosts should definitely have had a third ten minutes later after wonderful combination play through Morton, Vilakazi and Sithebe but Ncube's crisply-struck grass-cutter was brilliantly saved by Arrows keeper Maximillian Mbaeva.
Abafana Bes'thende brought Siphelele Magubane on for Wayde Jooste as they looked for more incisiveness in the final third.
And although they had some more than decent opportunities, Clinton Larsen's side were unable to penetrate the stubborn Usuthu defence, as AmaZulu came away with the bragging rights.
Coach: Cavin Johnson
AWAY: Golden Arrows
Coach: Clinton Larsen