Manqele’s brace downs AmaZulu

It was not the best first 45 minutes for Usuthu as they struggled to find their rhythm in attack and looked extremely vulnerable in defence. Stars, on the other hand, clicked from the first whistle and created chances on goal almost at will.

It only took three minutes before AmaZulu goalkeeper Tapuwa Kapini was called into action in what would be a busy half for him. Manqele broke down the right and worked his way into the box before unleashing a shot that saw Kapini’s reflexes at his best.

However, there was nothing the Usuthu keeper could do three minutes later when Manqele, rounding off a good passing move, gave the home side the lead after placing the ball into the bottom left-hand corner of the net from 12-yards out.

After the goal Stars continued to pile on the pressure and had it not have been for Kapini, Roger Palmgren’s side would have been in more trouble.

In the 14th minute Kapini was at his best again, diving full stretch to his right to make another fantastic save to deny Diego Brown a 35-yard free-kick wonder goal.

In attack Usuthu were virtually non-existent and created no decent chance on goal in the opening half. Instead, it was at the other end where all the action was taking place.

In 38th minute Kapini again kept his side in the game when he saved a penalty-kick; Brown seeing his effort saved after Manqele was pulled down inside the box by Moses Chavula.

The second half saw Usuthu make an immediate change as Stanton Lewis replaced Goodman Dlamini, and this seemed to help the confidence of the visiting side as they started stringing passes together, but still they struggled to create goal scoring opportunities.

That was until the 70th minute when Lewis beat a couple of defenders and fired a shot on goal from just inside the 18-yard area, but he saw his effort bounce off the post and back into play.

Four minutes later though, and Lewis did find the back of the net after an attempted cross from the edge of the right side of the box miscued off his boot and resulted in chipping Ayanda Mtshali to find Usuthu’s equaliser.

That goal seemed to awaken a Stars side that had gone to sleep during the second half. Steve Komphela’s men pushed forward and found the winner with seven minutes left on the clock.

Saname Wome created the goal with some good work down the left where he supplied a low cross into the box and Manqele made no mistake tucking the ball home for six-yards out for his second goal of the game.

That goal proved to be the winner as Stars picked up their first three points of 2012.