10-man Royal AM extend unbeaten run


Ten-man Royal AM extended their unbeaten run to eight matches after holding Baroka FC to a 1-1 draw on Sunday afternoon.

Thato Lingwati and Sedwyn George came into the Royal AM starting lineup for Mbhazima Rikhotso and Lantshene Phalane. Meanwhile, Vusi Sibiya and Athenkosi Dlala dropped out of the Baroka lineup and were replaced by Bennett Bobete and Kgodiso Monama.

It was a fast start to the match. In the fourth minute, Tebogo Potsane brought down Tshepo Mokhabi and Mokhabi delivered the resulting free-kick which found Manuel Kambala, who headed wide from in the penalty box to squander a gilt-edged opportunity.

Despite Royal AM enjoying the lions' share of the possession, Bakgaga opened the scoring with 12 minutes having been played. A long ball was sent upfield and Evidence Makgopa flicked it on into the path of Bayzel Goldstone, who fired a low shot from just outside the box into the bottom left corner.

Royal AM should have been equalised eight minutes later. Potsane sent a cross to the far post from the left and Mkhize squared it back into the box as Levy Mashiane blazed over from close-range.

Soon after the hosts wasted another good opportunity. Kambala was dispossessed by George in dangerous territory and the Royal AM attacker played a give-and-go with Victor Letsoalo before his effort from an acute angle meant Masuluke had to make a good save with his legs.

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The pressure being exerted by Royal tolled shortly before the half-hour mark. Letsoalo shot from the left and Masuluke couldn't divert it to safety with Mashiane lapping up the rebound.

John Maduka's side suffered a blow on the stroke of half-time when Given Mashikinya was sent off for a high boot to the face of Monama.

The second half was proving to be not as eventful as the first. Decide Chauke slipped a ball into the path of Makgopa as Hugo Nyame came off his line to block the shot and Chauke tried to lob the keeper but unfortunately it hit the top of the crossbar and went behind.

Baroka were starting to make more of the extra man and had a string of chances in quick succession when Chauke scuffed wide and then Mokhabi's shot was not held by Nyame before the ball was cleared to safety.

The hosts should have scored in the 73rd minute. Letsoalo skinned a couple of defenders on the right and cut the ball back for an unmarked George, but Masuluke showed all of his reflexes to keep it out.

There was one more good opportunity for Phalane from George's pass but he put his shot wide.

Confirmed line-ups:

Royal AM: Nyame, Mahashe, Lingwati, Manganyi, Mkhize, Mahlasela, Mashikinya, Potsane, Letsaolo, George, Mashiane.

Subs: Chaine, Dlamini, Phalane, Sera, Mangweni, Mabuza,  Luthuli, Thikazi, Ncobeni.

Baroka: Masuluke, Mphahlele, Farmer,  Shozi, Sithole, Mokhabi, Kambala, Bobete, Monama, Goldstone, Makgopa.

Subs: Chibwe, Seema, Makume, Mgaga, Malivha,  Dlala, Chauke, Nikitaridis, Kamatuka.

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