AmaZulu’s winning streak comes to an end


AmaZulu’s winning streak in the Absa Premiership came to an end on Saturday night when they were beaten 2-0 at home by Chippa United.

At a wet and cold Princess Magogo Stadium, Usuthu succumbed to two second-half goals from William Twala to remain in 14th place on the log. The victory was the Chilli Boys’ first of the season, though they remain at the foot of the table in 16th.

Chippa enjoyed two clear chances early in the game, but Thabo Rakhale was unable to test Siyabonga Mbatha with either. The visitors then suffered an injury blow when Mzikayise Mashaba was replaced by Phetso Maphanga in the 14th minute.

AmaZulu enjoyed plenty of the ball in Chippa’s half, but they lacked the cutting edge and creativity to open up the away side’s defence, despite the best efforts of Siyethemba Sithebe and Ovidy Karuru.

The Chilli Boys looked to push much of their attacking play through the middle of the park, but they found Michael Morton an uncompromising barrier – the defensive midfielder had a great first half and won back possession numerous times on the slippery pitch.

Chippa’s Silas Maziya had the last notable chance of the first half, whipping a shot direct from a free kick just wide of the target, with Mbatha a relieved man to see the ball go out for a goal kick. The interval saw the sides locked at 0-0.

Maziya played a key role in Chippa breaking the deadlock just after the hour mark, with his run to the by-line resulting in a loose ball in the penalty area which was struck home, via a deflection, by William Twala. It was the winger’s first goal in more than two and a half years.

AmaZulu responded with a double substitution in the 70th minute, sending on Jabulani Ncubeni and Andre De Jong in an effort to bolster their attack. The hosts soon had a lot more energy and penetration, with Chippa goalkeeper Veli Mothwa called into a good save by Mbongeni Gumede’s long-range shot.

The Eastern Cape side had the chance to put the game to bed on the counter in the 80th minute, but Twala missed a glaring opportunity after a square pass across the box from Meshack Maphangule, with AmaZulu leaving gaps at the back in an attempt to fight their way back into the game.

However, on 85 minutes Twala found his radar and netted for a second time. On this occasion he controlled a cross from Rakhale, showed far greater composure and picked his spot against an Usuthu defence which was caught square on a counter from their own corner kick.

Lehlohonolo Majoro nearly pulled a goal back for AmaZulu a couple of minutes later, picking up a loose ball in the box and firing off a shot which had the beating of Mothwa, but not the crossbar.

AmaZulu 0
Chippa United (0) 2 (Twala 61’ 85’)

AmaZulu: Mbatha, M. Gumede (Masilela 81’), Xoki, Booysen, Maduna (Ncubeni 70’), Darpoh, Morton, Sithebe, Karuru (De Jong 70’), Majoro, Ntuli

Chippa: Mothwa, Damons, Moyo, Modisane, Mashaba (Maphanga 14’), Maziya, Mahola, Maphangule, Twala, Rakhale, Kwem (L. Manzini 90+4’)

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