AmaZulu beat Manchester City in the Nelson Mandela Football Invitational match
Posted: 18 July 2013 Time: 22:17
Carlington Nyadombo converted a penalty with two minutes remaining to secure AmaZulu a famous 2-1 victory against Manchester City in the Football Invitational at Moses Mabhida on Thursday night.
The former English champions had dominated after James Milner had cancelled out Bongani Ndulula’s opener, but they leave with their tails between the legs after losing both matches – the other against SuperSport United – on their South African tour.
After a slow start, City had the first shot at goal through a Samir Nasri free-kick, but Tapuwa Kapini did brilliantly with a low save to his right to tip the ball around the post.
The visitors dominated possession in the early stages but, on 20 minutes and against the run of play, Usuthu took the lead. We may have been celebrating Nelson Mandela’s birthday, but it was Ndulula who got the present when he beat goalkeeper Joe Hart to Alexander Kolarov’s woeful backpass and slotted into the empty net.
City were looking shaky at the back throughout the first half but kept asking questions going forward, so the equaliser six minutes later came as no surprise. Yaya Toure headed on Scott Sinclair’s looped cross, with Milner adding the finishing touches with a fierce volley from the tightest of angles.
Manuel Pellegrini’s team dominated after that, with Fernandinho’s driving skimming the top of the net, before Kapini did brilliantly to deny Nasri one-on-one.
Micah Richards had another chance just before the halftime whistle but he mistimed a free header from a corner, meaning the two sides whet into the break level at 1-1.
Predictably there were a spate of substitutions at the break but, if anything, the intensity of the game – and City in particular – increased.
Jack Rodwell had two chances in quick succession: replacement goalie Aubrey Mathibe saving down low from the edge of the box, before the former Everton midfielder found the side-netting; Dzeko instrumental in both moves.
On the hour-mark, Dzeko himself was denied by some more Mathibe magic – the keeper making a reflex save from close range after Nasri played a sublime through-ball.
After that the chances dried up though. Scott Sinclair fired across the face of goal when Rodwell was better played, while at the other end new signing Nkosinathi Mthiyane skewed the ball horribly wide after being set up by Ayanda Dlamini.
Dlamini himself fired over in the dying stages before the host were awarded a penalty with two minutes remaining for a foul on Mark van Heerden, with Nyadombo doing the business from the spot.
So two out of two defeats for City, but they will know that their objective of match fitness and game-time had been achieved.
AmaZulu starting XI: Kapini – Teyise, Macala, Msekeli, Hlanti – G Dlamini, Madondo, Madubanya, Zondi, Manqana – Ndulula
Manchester City starting XI: Hart – Richards, Kompany, Nastasic, Kolarov – Milner, Toure, Sinclair, Fernandinho – Nasri – Dzeko