NDULULA’S BRACE SINKS UNITED
By Kwazi Dlamini
Bongani Ndulula‘s second half brace ensured that AmaZulu collect maximum points against Maritzburg United in a much anticipated KwaZulu-Natal derby at Harry Gwala Stadium on Friday.
The game started off with a slow pace, with both teams seemingly not eager to score. AmaZulu went into the game with a three–game winless streak and they were fighting to remain in the top 8 of the log.
United defender Robin Johannes almost scored an own goal but the ball went wide. Kurt Lentjies was brought down in the 18 area box by Marc van Heerden during the added time before half-time, Lentjies stepped up and converted the penalty with Zikalala going the right way but failed to reach it.
The home side’s lead didn’t last long.Just a few minutes into the second half, Goodman Dlamini leveled matters as he volleyed homE after receiving a great close range pass from Ayanda Dlamini.
Bhongolwethu Jayiya’s powerful shot just went over the bar. The teams wasted many scoring opportunities. Dlamini wasted a clear chance facing Shuaib Walters but he just passed the ball into the goalkeeper’s safe hands.
Dlamini beat two defenders in the right flank and unleashed a beautiful cross past Walters to an unmarked Ndulula who also tapped the ball into the back of the net, giving the visitors the lead.
Superb teamwork from the home side sawskipper Michael Morton getting a break but he failed to finish off from a tight angle.
A great pass from a second half substitute Rudzai Gameldien saw Ndulula in a one-on-one situation with Johannes and the former Orlando Pirates man didn’t disappoint as he just cut in to the box to unleash a shot which Walters had no chance to save.
Ndulula’s brace made sure Amazulu keep their place in the top 8 as they moved to the 7th place on the log.
“We could have at least scored two goals in the first half but the officials’ decisions were questionable. But we managed to come back as a team. The players showed character and we got a much needed win away from home even though it was always going to be hard,” said AmaZulu coach Craig Roslee.