AmaZulu beat stubborn Highlands

AmaZulu beat stubborn Highlands
Bongi Ntuli of AmaZulu challenged by Moeketsi Sekola of Highlands Park during the Absa Premiership 2018/19 match between Highlands Park and AmaZulu at Makhulong Stadium, Johannesburg on 27 November 2018 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by Helder Ribiero

Tuesday Nov 27, 2018. 21:43

AmaZulu FC overcame Highlands Park 2-1 in an Absa Premiership match at the Makhulong Stadium in Tembisa on Tuesday.

The saw Usuthu remain 16th on the league table - two points behind 15th-placed Black Leopards, while the Lions of the North also remained 10th on the log.

The match got off to a lively start as the Lions of the North and Usuthu searched for an early goal in the opening stages of the encounter.

Highlands got an opportunity to break the deadlock 14 minutes into the game after the AmaZulu defence was exposed.

Lindokuhle Mbatha found himself in a one-on-one situation with AmaZulu goalkeeper Siyabonga Mbatha, who made a great save to deny the Highlands attacker.

The Lions of the North grew in confidence as the match progressed with Moeketsi Sekola working tirelessly upfront for the home side.

AmaZulu defender Phumlani Gumede had to make a good tackle to stop Sekola as the visitors continued to contain the hosts.

Nhlanhla Vilakazi was pulling the strings in the middle of the park for Usuthu as he looked to ensure that his side took control of the game.

The score was 0-0 at the interval between AmaZulu and Highlands following a tightly contested first-half.

The deadlock was finally broken just three minutes into the second half and AmaZulu scored through first-half substitute Siyabonga Nomvethe, who had replaced Sibusiso Mabiliso.

The 40-year-old forward beat Highlands shot-stopper Marlon Heugh to make it 1-0 to AmaZulu from close range.

However, the lead only lasted for 10 minutes as the visitors managed to level matters through veteran winger Mbatha.

The former Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder beat AmaZulu shot-stopper Mbatha to make it 1-1 for Highlands, who had worked hard for the equalising goal.

Usuthu then pressed the hosts and they managed to restore their lead in the 69th minute through Emiliano Tade, who scored to make it 2-1 to AmaZulu after some good work by Bongi Ntuli.

AmaZulu head coach Cavin Johnson then made a tactical change, pulling out attacker Augustine Ramphela and he introduced Tapelo Nyongo, who is a defender by trade.

The visitors were able to contain Highlands in the dying minutes of the game and ultimately, AmaZulu emerged 2-1 winners after holding on to their slender lead.

Highlands (0) 1 (Mbatha 58')
AmaZulu (0) 2 (Nomvethe 48', Tade 69')

Highlands: Heugh, Ramoraka, Mahlangu (Haoseb 62'), Seema, Fransman, Msimango, L.Mokoena (Makudubela 76'), Shalulile, Mvala, Mbatha, Sekola (Ndoro 46').

AmaZulu: Mbatha, Gumede, Van Heerden, Slawula, Mabiliso (Nomvethe 41', Ncube 78'), Morton, Vilakazi, Ramphela (Nyongo 70'), Sithebe, Tade, Ntuli.

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