Usuthu lift 2018 KZN Premiers Cup

AmaZulu started the brighter of the two sides in front of a packed house at the King Zwelithini Stadium.

Coach Cavin Johnson opted to make eleven changes to the team that beat Real Kings on penalties in the semi-final earlier in the day.

Sibusiso Mabiliso created the first goal scoring opportunity for AmaZulu in just the fifth minute of the game. He made a good run down the left flank before delivering a pin-point cross into the feet of Siyethemba Sithebe but he failed to get his shot on target.

AmaZulu were doing all the early running but it was the the NFD outfit who enjoyed the game’s first big chance in the 16th minute. Stanley Muishond showed good skill to get to the right byline and cut the ball back for Michael Gumede. The striker had plenty of time and space but fired well over the cross bar.

Just when Richards Bay were starting to get themselves into the encounter, AmaZulu grabbed a goal against the run of play, thanks to a brilliant long range effort from Thapelo Nyongo in the 25th minute.

He picked up the ball in midfield and ran at the opposition defence before unleashing a thunderous strike to beat goalkeeper, Xolani Ngcobo.

Five minutes later, the Natal Rich Boys almost found a way back into the contest from a corner kick. The ball bounced around and fell kindly for Menzi Hlope but he sent his volleyed effort over Energy Murabadoro’s goal.

The boys from the North Coast almost equalized immediately after the restart. Murambadoro came out to clear a long ball but was beaten to it by Katleho Mphathe. He then squared the ball to Muishond who turned his shot wide with the net gaping.

AmaZulu went close to doubling their advantage in the 70th minute when substitute, Sphesihle Maduna dribbled his way into the box and fired a low shot but it flew just wide of the goal.

Cavin Johnson’s side were now in full control of the game and continued to threaten the Richards Bay FC defence.

Minutes after Maduna threatened, Rhulani Manzini got to the byline and cut the ball back for Sithebe but he fired just over the bar from outside the box.

In the end, Nyongo’s solitary goal was enough to hand AmaZulu the 2018 KZN Premiers Cup title.

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