The 2017/2018 Premier Soccer League (PSL) season got underway on Saturday afternoon with several mouth-watering encounters.
In KwaZulu-Natal, AmaZulu edged out Free State Stars courtesy of a Tapelo Nyongo penalty in the dying ambers of the clash. Usuthu returned to the PSL, following the acquisition of Thanda Royal Zulu’s topflight status after spending two years in the National First Division.
Cavin Johnson’s men put on a brave performance despite losing Sadat Ouro-Akoriko within the first 15 minutes of the encounter. The Togolese international only recently re-signed with the Durban-based outfit, but it was not a debut to remember for the defender as he was given his marching orders after a scuffle with Stars' players.
Meanwhile, Rooi Mahamutsa arguably had Stars’ best chance of the first half but his header sailed just over the crossbar in the 37th minute. The second half though, saw Stars continue to dominate proceedings with Katlego Mashego sending his long-range effort just over the bar.
However, with 10 minutes remaining in the clash, the numbers were evened when Sifiso Mbhele was given his marching orders for a dangerous challenge on Thembela Sikhakhane. The sending off clearly changed the game, and with the match destined for a draw, AmaZulu were awarded a penalty in the 87th minute. Nyongo stepped up and slotted the resultant penalty home as AmaZulu claimed the three-points at the King Zwelithini Stadium.
Finally, in the other game of the afternoon, Polokwane City hosted Baroka FC in the season’s first Limpopo Derby. Despite all the hype surrounding the encounter, it was an otherwise dull affair with chances few and far between. Neither side would find the decisive goal as both teams played out to a goalless draw at the Peter Mokaba Stadium.
Nevertheless, Rise and Shine did have chances through Jabulani Maluleke and Rodney Ramagalela, in the first half but the duo failed to find a breakthrough as both teams shared the points in Limpopo.