Arrows win KZN Derby

Collins Mbesuma scored a brace for Arrows while Tangeni Shipahu pulled one back for AmaZulu.

Certainly on the merit of the game no side deserved to lose, but in the end the fans deserved a winner and that honour fell to Golden Arrows. Collins Mbesuma was the hero on the day for the visiting side as he scored a brace to lead his side to a 2-1 victory over Usuthu.

It was definitely one of the best KZN derbies the PSL has witnessed in many a year as it was non-stop action. The ball fizzed from one goal mouth to the other in fine style. The game was truly an advert for the game in the South African top flight.

Both teams attacked from the word go, but it was Arrows who got the better of the opening exchanges. AmaZulu, however, were not to be out done and came back into the game at the end of both halves.

The first chance of the game fell to Siyabonga Nkosi who let rip with a powerful 20-yard shot, but Thembalethu Moses was at hand to make a good save for AmaZulu.

A minute later and Ayanda Dlamini should have given the home side the lead. Tshweu Mokoro provide a pin point cross to find the AmaZulu striker unmarked inside the box, but his six-yard shot only succeeded in finding the side netting.

Then in the seventh minute Arrows thought they took the lead when Norikazu Murakami found the back of the net after a well worked passing movement. The goal, however, was quickly disallowed as Murakami was ruled off-sides.

Still, the visiting side only had to wait another three minutes before they actually did find the game’s opening goal. Nkosi split the AmaZulu defence with a great through ball for Collins Mbesuma to run onto. With only the keeper to beat, the veteran striker made no mistake and found the back of the net with a well placed shot, 1-0.

After going a goal down AmaZulu upped their efforts even further and came close to drawing the game level in the 18th minute. Tangeni Shipahu curled a 20-yard free-kick around the wall and goalwards, but Helton Da Rocha was at his best producing a fantastic save to tip Shipahu’s effort around the post.

Lehlohonolo Majoro pulled the best out of Da Rocha just before the half time break when he met a Sibusiso Hadebe cross, but his effort was brilliantly parried around the post by the Arrows keeper. From the resulting corner, Da Rocha was called into action yet again, this time denying Hadebe from point-blank range.

The second half started much the same as the first began, with Arrows on the attack and getting the better of the play. In fact, it only took nine minutes into the second half before the visiting side grabbed their second goal.

Collins Mbesuma grabbed his brace with another clinical finish from 12-yards out that found the bottom right hand corner of the goal, 2-0.

Arrows two goal lead, however, only lasted six minutes before Tangeni Shipahu pulled a goal back for AmaZulu. After some brilliant individual work by Shipahu he found himself in some space inside the 18-yard area and made no mistake with a powerful shot that found the back of the net, 2-1.

Six minutes later and Shipahu came within inches of drawing his side level when his 12-yard header struck the cross-bar and agonisingly bounced away from danger for the home side.

It was a nerve racking final 20 minutes for Arrows as they tried desperately to hold onto their lead. Luckily for the visiting fans they were able to do so and walked away with the three points in what was certainly one of the most entertaining KZN derbies.