An in-form AmaZulu FC side edged out Swallows FC in a five-goal thriller as they emerged 3-2 winners in a DStv Premiership match at the Dobsonville Stadium on Friday night.
It is Usuthu’s third consecutive win in the local top-flight and the victory took the KwaZulu-Natal giants to the top of the league standings ahead of their KZN Derby clash with Lamontville Golden Arrows on Wednesday.
On the other hand, Amaswaiswai are now winless in their last two matches which saw them slip down to the ninth spot on the DStv Premiership table after losing to Usuthu and they are set to face Sekhukhune United on Tuesday.
Amaswaiswai created good chances in the opening stages with Waseem Isaacs failing to score after being sent through on goal and Lindokuhle Mtshali forced goalkeeper Veli Mothwa into a magnificent save at the near-post.
The hosts were left to rue their missed chances when eventual Man of the Match Keagan Buchanan played a looped pass for Frank Mhango who beat keeper Thakasani Mbanjwa with an excellent finish to hand AmaZulu a 1-0 lead in the 24th minute.
Swallows continued to launch attacks after conceding and they managed to level matters when Mbongeni Gumede netted an own goal from Tshidiso Pantjie’s free-kick to make it 1-1 in the 43rd minute and the score was level at half-time.
Amaswaiswai played on the counterattack after the restart and they were awarded a penalty when Abbubaker Mobara was adjudged to have fouled Lindokuhle Mtshali in the visitors’ box. Debutant Keagan Allan then beat Mothwa from the spot-kick to hand Swallows a 2-1 lead in the 66th minute.
However, AmaZulu fought back with Mhango determined to grab his second goal of the game. Parity was restored when Mbanjwa scored an own goal from Mhango’s cross to make it 2-2 in the 79th minute much to the dismay of the Swallows players and technical team.
The two teams then pushed for a late winning goal in the closing proceedings and it was Gumede who grabbed it when he netted in the last minute of the match when he headed home Riaan Hanamub’s set-piece to seal AmaZulu’s 3-2 win on the night.
Swallows (1) 2 (Gumede 43′, Allan 66′)
AmaZulu (1) 3 (Mhango 24′, Mbanjwa 79′, Gumede 90′)
Swallows: Mbanjwa, Lukhubeni, Sasman (Shwabule 46′), Sait, Khupe, Allan, Mvelase (Makua 68′), L.Mtshali (Amoojee 87′), Mthethwa, Patjie (Khumalo 68′), Isaacs (S. Mtshali 68′)
AmaZulu: Mothwa, Sikhakhane, Hanamub, Gumede, Mobara (Mphahlele 76′), Buchanan (Maduna 90′), Maluleka (Brooks 77′), Makhaula, Mhango, Kwem (Zuma 77′), Ntuli (Majoro 83′).