AmaZulu go sixth
Posted: 5 April 2009 Time: 17:26
AmaZulu continued their good form with a 1-0 win over Santos at the Chatsworth Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Visiting coach David Bright made several changes to his usual starting XI, drafting in Lennox Macela for the benched Eleazar Rodgers, while the absence due to suspension of Tyren Arendse created the opportunity for leftwinger Tasleem Paulse to get a rare start.
With Erwin Isaacs playing a deeper midfield role, there was also room up-front in attack for Botswana striker Jerome Ramathlakwana.
The home side had more ball possession in the first half, but it was the People's Team who created more chances in front of goal.
As a result, AmaZulu goalminder Kalililo Kakonje was by far the busier of the two goalkeepers, being forced into making four first-half stops.
It was Usuthu, however, who started the game well and they could well have taken a 13th-minute lead if Bradley Ritson had been able to find the target with a header from the edge of the small box, following Thabo Mabaso's cross.
Santos’ first opportunity came via Romano Scott, whose 15th minute shot from range was tipped over the bar by Kakonje.
The Cape side continued to fashion the better opportunities – in the 19th minute Wayne Arendse headed Scott's cross wide, and then Isaacs and Scott were in turn both denied by Kakonje.
AmaZulu upped their game in the last third of the first half, which saw Japhet Zwane getting in two shots on goal, one of which was saved by Santos keeper Francis Chansa, while Siboniso Gumede fired wide from just 12 yards out.
Usuthu were soon on the offensive after the restart after Zwane's 48th minute free-kick had been saved by Chansa, they took the lead in the 53rd minute when Mabaso's cross from the right was met with a clinical finish by Dumisani Ngwenya.
The People's Team created a great opportunity in the 61st minute to draw level, but Scott headed over the bar after Musa Otieno had floated the ball into the box.
AmaZulu also had chances to increase their lead, but Ritson's 63rd minute free-kick was saved by Chansa, while Mabaso failed to hit the target from 12-yards out in the 65th minute.
Santos had further chances to construct an equaliser, but Jerome Ramathlakwana was unable to force his shot through the AmaZulu defence, while Isaacs fired over the bar from 20-yards out.
The remainder of the game saw the visitors doing their best to try and save the game, but even though the likes of Koena Mathopa and Isaacs shot for goal, committed defending from Usuthu meant that Kakonje's net was not threatened as the home side hung on for three points.