Thriller as 10-man Usuthu hold Santos
Posted: 16 March 2011 Time: 22:27
AmaZulu played to a sixth successive draw in the Absa Premiership after their match against Santos at the King Zwelithini Stadium ended 2-2 on Wednesday night.
Usuthu, who played most of the match with 10 men after Thamsanqa Sangweni was red carded for a professional foul, almost claimed a come-from-behind victory, but the People’s Team equalised with 10 minutes left to ensure that the spoils were shared.
AmaZulu started with a flurry and looked to take the game to their opponents. They almost reaped early rewards when Marc van Heerden managed to curl a free-kick over the wall, but keeper Lee Langeveldt was able to parry the ball to safety.
In the 14th minute Santos made a rare foray into AmaZulu territory, resulting in Romano Scott pulling clear. Sangweni felled the winger, just outside the penalty area, leaving referee Robert Sithole with no option but to send off the player.
From the resulting free-kick Ricardo Skippers directed an attempt on target which Mbongeni Mzimela kept out with his fingertips.
With a man’s advantage, Santos looked a transformed team and attacked with more purpose. However, play came to a grinding halt in the 16th minute when the half of the stadiums light’s went off, but when play resumed, Santos continued to attack at will with the home side playing on the break.
Usuthu’s leading goal scorer, Lehlohonolo Majoro was on the end of two such moves. In the 22nd minute he hit a firm volley which was blocked near the goalline and followed that up with an outstanding drive which Langeveldt blocked with a diving save.
Santos took the lead in the 38th minute when Tyren Arendse unleashed a shot from about 25 metres out; the ball deflected off Tsweu Mokoro and flew past Mzimela.
The home side showed great character in the second half and got just rewards in the 60th minute when Hadebe forced his way into the area, rounded keeper Langeveldt and laid the ball into the path of the unmarked Shipahu, who made no mistake.
The unthinkable happened in the 75th minute after more pressure from the hosts. Once again Hadebe was proving to be a handful; he beat three defenders and the keeper before prodding the ball over the line.
However, the visitors were not content to finish empty handed and they secured a point in the 79th minute through a long range pass from Tyren Arendse which located an unmarked Basie on the right flank. The midfielder drifted into the area and hit an unstoppable shot past Mzimela.