Aces brush aside Usuthu
Posted: 19 February 2014 Time: 19:15
Mpumalanga Black Aces defeated AmaZulu 2-0 on Wednesday night, with Themba Zwane and Mabhuti Khenyeza striking either side of the break at Mbombela Stadium.
Man of the Match Khenyeza set up Zwane for a 43rd minute opener, and then doubled the lead in the 64th minute after being teed up by Clifford Mulenga.
After a quiet start from both teams, the first shot in anger arrived from Nkosinathi Mthiyane in the 21st minute, but the AmaZulu attacker put his effort over the crossbar and failed to trouble Jackson Mabokgwane in Aces’ goal.
The hosts created their first attempt from a corner kick in the 28th minute. Mbulelo Mabizela’s cross resulted in Clifford Ngobeni having a sight of goal, but the AmaZayoni midfielder put his shot over the target.
Six minutes later Aces worked another opportunity in attack and Khenyeza was able to get a shot away, but the ball drifted wide of the left-hand post and posed no challenge for goalkeeper Philani Zikalala.
As the half neared its end the hosts were dominating play and managed to break the deadlock through Zwane. The midfielder beat Zikalala with a right-footed finish after latching onto a pass from Khenyeza, leaving Aces 1-0 up at the break.
AmaZulu looked for a quick reply soon after the restart in the second half, but former Ajax Cape Town midfielder Nhlanhla Shabalala directed his shot wide of the target in the 49th minute.
However, Aces were soon back on the front foot and threatened a second goal through Thabo Qalinge, who shot over the bar on the hour-mark, while substitute Mulenga also missed the target a couple of minutes later.
The hosts, though, doubled their advantage soon after. The lively Mulenga provided a cross for Khenyeza, who was able to direct a header beyond the reach of Zikalala to make it 2-0 and put AmaZayoni in complete control of the match.