A first goal since December 2020 from Thabo Nodada handed Cape Town City a 1-0 win over Marumo Gallants in a DStv Premiership clash at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday evening.
A tightly-contested match was settled by a late strike from the Citizens midfielder, with the result sending the Cape side to fifth on the log – three points adrift of second-placed Royal AM. Bahlabane ba Ntwa, meanwhile, are four points behind City and placed 10th.
One of the first shots in anger was an effort direct from a free kick by City’s Kanyisa Mayo on 10 minutes, but the young forward struck his effort over the crossbar and didn’t trouble Gallants goalkeeper King Ndlovu.
The visiting team put together some fine passing moves and generally enjoyed more of the ball, though breaking down the Citizens’ defence proved a tall order. Gallants managed just the one shot on target through the first half – which was easily dealt with by Hugo Marques.
City themselves did not call upon Ndlovu to make any saves, with their most promising moment of the first half arriving a couple of minutes before the break when Darwin Gonzalez cut inside from the left and unleashed a shot, but it was blocked by Tshepo Gumede.
Goalless at the break, the second stanza had its first clear chance eight minutes after the restart, with City’s Craig Martin playing in a fine cross from the right to pick out Mayo, but the striker couldn’t get over his header and sent the ball high above the target.
Mayo had another chance on 73 minutes – after great work from Taariq Fielies and Martin to tee him up – but again he failed to find the target. Seconds later, at the other end of the field, Celimpilo Ngema unleashed a low drive which forced a fine save from Marques, diving low to his left.
The Citizens finally forced Ndlovu into notable action with 10 minutes of regulation time remaining. The Gallants goalkeeper first kept out a left-footed effort from Gonzalez, before the resulting corner brought about a chance for Fielies which the ‘keeper saved – with an assist from his right-hand post.
Yet the Cape side kept up the pressure and finally broke the deadlock in the 89th minute, as substitute Thabo Nodada sent a skidding long range shot through a crowd of defenders and past the right hand of Ndlovu to clinch the victory.
City will be back in DStv Premiership action on Sunday 3 April when they host Baroka FC, while Gallants’ next league match is away to Royal AM three days later.
Cape Town City (0) 1 (Nodada 89’)Marumo Gallants 0TEAMS:
Cape Town City:Marques, Mkhize (May 85’), Fasika, Fielies, Mashego, Martin, Mokeke (Nodada 55’), Goedeman (Mdantsane 62’), Ambina, Mayo, Gonzalez
Marumo Gallants:L Ndlovu, Hlatshwayo, Gumede, Nonyane, Mabotja, Molangoane, Timm, Ngema, Otladisa, Ndlondlo, Dion (Mphambaniso 80’)
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