PSL News 16.9.2018 06:08 pm

Spoils shared in six-goal Umlazi thriller

Mbongeni Gumede of AmaZulu tackling Phakamani Mahlambi of Mamelodi Sundowns during the Absa Premiership match between AmaZulu FC and Mamelodi Sundowns at King Zwelithini Stadium on September 16, 2018 in Durban, South Africa. (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images)

Mbongeni Gumede of AmaZulu tackling Phakamani Mahlambi of Mamelodi Sundowns during the Absa Premiership match between AmaZulu FC and Mamelodi Sundowns at King Zwelithini Stadium on September 16, 2018 in Durban, South Africa. (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images)

League champions Mamelodi Sundowns’ were made to sweat for a 3-3 draw against AmaZulu at a packed King Zwelithini Stadium in Umlazi on Sunday afternoon.

The draw means Masandawana, who twice had to come from behind on Sunday and needed an 85th minute goal from Sibusiso Vilakazi to claim the draw, have picked up just six points from their opening four league matches, while also being eliminated from the MTN8 and CAF Champions League competitions in the last month.

Sundowns were to pay for a sluggish start as Butholezwe Ncube stole the ball off Andile Jali and then fired in a low shot from 30-yards out into the bottom corner of the net with just four minutes played.

With little in the way of response from Sundowns, AmaZulu remained in control of proceedings until the 27th minute, when Phakamani Mahlambi shrugged off a challenge from Thapelo Nyongo before scoring at the second attempt from a tight angle after Moeneeb Josephs had saved the first effort.

The Brazilians had a couple more half chances before the interval, but couldn’t add a second as Jose Meza fired a shot over the bar before Mahlambi was prevented shooting in dangerous position after Nyongo made amends for his earlier blunder with an excellent tackle.

Sundowns were ahead just seconds after the restart when Toni Silva cut in from the right flank, put the ball through the legs of Sibusiso Mabiliso and then beat Josephs with a fine finish from a tight angle.

However, the Tshwane team’s lead was only to last two minutes as Usuthu hit back though a Jabulani Ncobeni goal, the former Maritzburg midfielder scoring from a tight angle after Reyaad Pieterse had been found wanting trying to challenge Bongi Ntuli after a cross from Thembela Sikhakhane.

Pieterse was tested again on the hour mark, having to use his full height to dive across and get a hand to a well-hit shot from Siyethemba Sithebe.

But the former Kaizer Chiefs and SuperSport United keeper was to find himself picking up the ball out of the net soon after as a neatly worked free kick from the KZN side saw the ball worked to Ntuli, who reacted sharply to steer the ball into the net from close range in the 72nd minute.

Again though there was to be an equaliser – five minutes before the end of regulation time, as Vilakazi got in at the near post to poke a cross from Tebogo Langerman past Josephs to at least ensure the visitors took a point off a spirited AmaZulu outfit.

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