PSL-Golden Arrows showed their class with an emphatic 3-0 win over TS Galaxy in a DStv Premiership clash at the Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.
Goals from Michael Gumede, Pule Mmodi and Ntsako Makhubela saw Aabafa Bes’thende strengthen their grip on third place on the log, moving three points clear of nearest chasers Orlando Pirates (who have two games in hand). It was also the Durban club’s biggest win in the league since defeating AmaZulu 4-1 in September 2017.
As for the Rockets, their top-eight hopes remain alive and well (they remain ninth, one point behind eighth-placed Baroka FC and with a game in hand over the Limpopo side), but a sixth defeat from their last eight league outings will be major cause for concern.
Arrows claimed the lead through a flowing move less than seven minutes after kick-off. Nduduzo Sibiya put Divine Lunga free down the left flank and the Zimbabwean in turn played a low cross to find the run of Michael Gumede, who emphatically fired home from close range for 1-0.
The hosts had further half chances to add to their advantage, including Galaxy goalkeeper Marlon Heugh being caught in possession by Sibiya, who was unlucky to the ball rebound away for a goal kick with the posts unguarded on 29 minutes.
Abafana Bes’thende then doubled their lead in the 32nd minute with a late ‘goal of the season’ contender, as Pule Mmodi fired a beautiful half-volleyed shot into the top corner from well outside the penalty area, giving Heugh no chance whatsoever.
Two goals down at the interval, the Rockets opted for a double change at the start of the second half, replacing Mlungisi Mbunjana and Khayelihle Shozi with Mxolisi Machupu and Bathusi Aubaas – the latter was lucky not to be almost immediately sent off for a studs-up tackle on Sibiya.
The changes made no real difference to the flow of play, with Arrows continuing to be the more controlled and penetrative team. The hosts duly claimed a third goal just past the hour mark, with Sibiya’s cross from the right by-line powered home with a diving header by Ntsako Makhubela.
After establishing a three-goal lead, Arrows went somewhat off the boil and sloppy defending allowed Galaxy substitute Tshegofatso Nyama a clear scoring chance with just over 10 minutes of regulation time to play, but goalkeeper Sifiso Mlungwana made a fine save to deny the visitors a consolation.
Abafana Bes’thende ended the game with 10 men after the otherwise excellent Sibiya picked up a second yellow card for a tired-looking challenge on 89 minutes, but even his dismissal did not take the gloss off a fine performance from the Durban side.
Galaxy will be back in DStv Premiership action on May 30 when they host Orlando Pirates, while Arrows’ next game will be on June 2 away to Kaizer Chiefs.
Golden Arrows (2) 3 (Gumede 7’, Mmodi 32’, Makhubela 61’) TS Galaxy 0
Arrows: Mlungwana, M. Dube, Sibisi, Zuke, Lunga, Ndwandwe (Phiri 90+2′), Makhubela (Mtshali 74’), Parusnath, Mmodi (Mathiane 88’), Sibiya, Gumede
Galaxy: Heugh, Msimango, Fransman, Mc. Mahlangu, Munyai (S. Mahlangu 83’), Brooks, Mbunjana (Aubaas 46’), Shozi (Machupu 46’), Ndlovu, Phohlongo, Lekay (Nyama 65’)