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AmaZulu v Marumo Gallants Match Report, 04/11/21

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King Goodwill Zwelithini Stadium
AmaZulu 0-0 Marumo Gallants: Usuthu drop points again as Bahlabane ba Ntwa remain winless
10:55 PM IST 04/11/21
Hendrick Ekstein & Sibusiso Khumalo, AmaZulu vs Marumo Gallants, November 2021
It was a drab affair between Benni McCarthy’s men and their visitors from Limpopo

AmaZulu have dropped points for a second successive match following Thursday’s 0-0 draw against Marumo Gallants in a rescheduled Premier Soccer League fixture at King Goodwill Zwelithini Stadium.

Going into this match on the backdrop of a 2-0 defeat by Sekhukhune United, Usuthu failed to recover from that setback to surrender two points at home.

Despite failing to claim maximum points, AmaZulu climbed a rung from 10th to position nine on the table while Gallants remained rooted at the foot of the standings without a win in eight league games this season. 

This was after the two teams were forced to abandon Wednesday’s match due to a clash of kit colours as well as the unavailability of floodlights at the stadium. 

For the fixture to go on, AmaZulu who were the home side, had to compromise and change their kit from dark green to all-white while Gallants remained with their navy blue uniform.

Thursday’s encounter presented Babhlabane ba Ntwa with an opportunity to make changes to their starting squad from the ones they had fielded in the abandoned match.

After Celimpilo Ngema and Lerato Lamola were in the Gallants line-up on Wednesday, they came on as second-half substitutes in the rescheduled encounter.

But Benni McCarthy’s AmaZulu squad remained unchanged with familiar faces like Tercious Malepe, Bongi Ntuli, goalkeeper Veli Mothwa, Thapelo Xoki and captain Makhlehlene Makhaula starting.

The contest started slowly and both teams saw few chances until 11 minutes into the game when Xoki headed just over the bar off a Philani Zulu corner kick.

Shortly after, Nbabayithethwa Ndlondlo then came close for the visitors but had his shot deflected for a corner kick.

A drab affair marked the first half but the second stanza started on a promising note.

Seconds after the restart, Siyethemba Sithebe lobbed Gallants goalkeeper Washington Arubi while under the challenge of Monyane but his effort goes just over the bar.

Then five minutes into the second half, Ntuli had his effort cleared off the goalline by Lehlohonolo Nonyane.

Even after McCarthy made a triple substitution by introducing Xola Mlambo, Lehlohonolo Majoro and Augustine Ramphela for Philani Zulu, Andre De Jong and Ntuli, AmaZulu still struggled.

They were almost punished with 20 minutes to go but Ngema, while marked inside the box, shot straight at Mothwa.

Substitute Sphesihle Maduna almost found the breakthrough but his headed effort was brilliantly saved by Arubi with nine minutes remaining.

Gallants’ best chance of the game came in the 86th minute when Thabo Mnyamane hit the crossbar with a deceiving corner kick.

Majoro then had a penalty appeal in stoppage time turned down by the referee in stoppage time in what was the last action of the match.