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Gutsy AmaZayoni stay in the PSL

Posted: 7 April 2010 Time: 18:16

Mpumalanga Black Aces fought back from a 2-1 first leg deficit against Black Leopards to secure their place in the Absa Premiership for next season.

A 2-1 win on Wednesday afternoon for Aces at the Ackerville Stadium in Witbank left the aggregate score tied at 3-3.

The match then went into penalties, which saw Chad Harpur saving from Patrick Mtawali before Mpho Maleka held his nerve to ensure Aces won the shoot-out 5-3.

The start of what turned out to be an absolute thriller was delayed for 45 minutes by rain and a water-logged pitch.

For the most part it was Aces who enjoyed the upper-hand in attack during the first half, but they could not take their chances.

This proved costly as Leopards scored in the 11th minute with one of their relatively few opportunities, Kethowakhe Masuku striking with a stunning long range drive, the ball dipping into the bottom right corner from nearly 30-yards out.

That brought the aggregate score to 3-1 in favour Lidoda Duhva, following their 2-1 win last Saturday.

Aces pushed hard for an equaliser, especially around the half hour mark, but Clifford Mulenga (later to become the two-goal-hero) scuffed a shot from a tight angle after bursting through on goal, while Maleka was very unlucky when his glancing header landed just the wrong side of the upright.

Leopards defender Mayasisilua Lubanzadio then came close to adding a second with a 42nd minute header, while Mulenga almost scored just before the break for Aces when his cross landed on the bar. After the restart it was again Aces who put pressure on the Limpopo side.

Madoda Motha blazed over a 53rd minute effort, although with the home side pushing forward, gaps opened at the back and the visitors could have added a goal if Walter Ramulondi had done better with his 61st minute header.

But a minute later it was game on as AmaZayoni were rewarded for their efforts when a neat bit of skill from Lindokhule Mbatha set up Mulenga, who also showed superb ability to beat two men before rifling in a brilliant shot into the top left hand corner.

Aces were down to 10 men after 65 minutes when Vusi Masonda was red-carded, but this didn’t stop them from attacking.

Indeed, the final 20 minutes of regulation time soon turned into what must rate as the most exciting passage of play in any game this season as the game assumed the excitement and drama a cup final.

There were goal-mouth scrambles, a turned down penalty appeal for Aces, and a delightful piece of skill which saw Mulenga squeeze the ball across the goal-mouth.

With nine minutes of regulation time left, Mulenga finally did the trick for the Witbank side, showing wonderful composure in a match with such high stakes to round keeper Ayanda Mtshali and slot the ball home.

There were chances at both ends in the closing stages of the game, but no further goals, sending the game into penalties, where Aces converted all five of their kicks, while Leopards scored with their first three before Harpur stopped Mtawali’s effort.

Previous comments on this story...

posted: 06:24 pm
I will now forever be afraid of the cruelty of Soccer.For my home team to lose promotion while they were leading 3-1 before second half and loose promotion to PSL?. That's the most painful feeling every one in limpopo will be feeling. PSL should revisit the issue of playoffs because if it is now going to a point of being decided by penalties its realy cruel. But anyway lets look foward for the next season.
posted: 06:58 pm
The only country in the world where in a team has to go 4 playoffs to get promotion. This is disgusting. Not that I'm a BL fan, but this does not do any justice to the teams in Mvela and it also kills the spirit in the PSL bcos people don't pull up their socks knowing very well that they have a chance in the playoffs.
posted: 07:57 pm
congrats to AmaZaioni 4 retaining their PSL status. you really did Mpumalanga proud.
posted: 09:16 pm
Give us lunch if not a break frm now is gna b mpumalanga aces n jomo cosmos give us smthin new dis incompitent teams r only de 2 cmpit wit 3 so cld big teams kaizer chiefs,orlndo pie rats n s sport united
Maestro KC
posted: 10:24 pm
Whats with this thing called playoffs? This system is unfair, Aces should have been automatically relegated instead the team that won in their stream had to play a game to gain promotion.


posted: 08:07 am
Welldone. Again thumbs up to Clifford Mulenga for rescuing the team. Remember after AFCON in Angola he was among the players that were dropped from the team on grounds that they were 'UNFIT' only to be recalled when the chips were down.
posted: 08:08 am
Welldone. Again thumbs up to Clifford Mulenga for rescuing the team. Remember after AFCON in Angola he was among the players that were dropped from the team on grounds that they were 'UNFIT' only to be recalled when the chips were down.
posted: 08:21 am
I want to share the feeling of the Limpopo people and the rest of SA's who continually criticise the playoff system. I'm residing in Mpumalanga in Emalahleni, relieved to learn that the home team will be competing in the PSL again. However i'm having this sad feeling especially for BL and Limpopo people, as this system employed by the PSL is totally unfair and cruel at the same time.

Supporters paid their hard earned rand to watch their team, and having won the inland stream they are subjected to these playoffs with a team that had all the support one can think of in the PSL. It is time that this system is reviewed and changed for that matter to give deserving teams an opportunity to play in the elite league. Otherwise do you want Malema to sing the current PSL leadership out? As for Aces please do something to reinforce the current squad, and maybe consider getting a local coach who will be able to communicate with the players and compensate the current coach with technical advicer post.
posted: 09:10 am
Down with Playoffs please. Mr Siem, if you are the one that came with this system of playoffs, please leave South Africa immidiately. You came here to cause choas and headache for us. All over the world teams get automatic promotion and relegation. What is this that you are trying to do here?. Black Leopard were above everyteam including Vasco Da gama with points. They worked very hard during the season only to be eliminated twice in the finals of the playoffs. No! this is totally out of order. Next Season we want to see these stupid playoffs eliminated.Some PSL teams are so relaxed because they know that playoffs will save them, while teams on the first division cannot even celebrate their victories because they know that someone ridiculous and shortsighted have put an evil trap called playoffs. Please we need fairness here.
posted: 10:49 am
Congretulations Mazayoni we really need to see you in top flight football. My only apeal to your management is that they should know whats rite for the team they must never do ehat they attempted towards the end of this season where they wanted to offload unnecessary players like Mulenga who rescued the club yesterday.
posted: 10:58 am
Mpumalanga Black Aces will go down again come 2010/2011 season.

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