Golden Arrows 2-2 AmaZulu FC: Ntuli eases pressure on McCarthy
Benni McCarthy, head coach of AmaZulu.
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The Bafana Bafana legend will be desperate to guide Usuthu to their first PSL win of the season this weekend

AmaZulu FC showed character in their PSL match against Lamontville Golden Arrows which ended in a 2-2 draw at Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.

Goals from Xola Mlambo and Bonginkosi Ntuli helped Usuthu hold Abafana Bes'thende, who netted through Knox Mutizwa and Matome Mathiane in the KwaZulu-Natal Derby encounter.

Ntuli retained his place in AmaZulu's starting line-up after he grabbed a brace which inspired the team to a 3-1 victory over Malawi's Nyasa Big Bullets in the Caf Champions League game on Saturday.

It was also Usuthu's first victory of the current season and it eased pressure on coach Benni McCarthy, who was reportedly feeling the heat after the KwaZulu-Natal giants failed to win their first four matches of this term.

McCarthy's counterpart, Lehlohonolo Seema was determined to ensure that his side returned to winning ways having recorded two successive draws and a defeat, before facing AmaZulu.

The deadlock was broken in the 24th minute when Xola Mlambo netted his first-ever goal for AmaZulu to hand the visitors a 1-0 lead with the hosts having failed to clear Siphesihle Maduna's corner-kick.

Abafana Bes'thende then pushed for the equalizing goal and they were awarded a penalty after Tapelo Xoki was adjudged to have handled the ball and match referee Victor Gomes pointed directly to the penalty spot.

Knox Mutizwa made no mistake from the spot-kick as the Zimbabwe international beat goalkeeper Veli Mothwa to level matters at 1-1 and it was his second goal of the campaign.

The hosts continued to surge forward after taking the lead and they were awarded another penalty with Luvuyo Memela having pulled down Nkosinathi Sibisi in the box just before the half-time break.

Mutizwa stepped up again, but this time the 27-year-old marksman hit the upright from the spot-kick and the ball was cleared away and the score was 1-1 at the interval.

Arrows continued to control the match after the restart as they knocked the ball around nicely in midfield, but they were unable to find the right balls through the AmaZulu defence and there was no clear cut chances either way.

However, this changed as the match entered its final 15 minutes and the hosts finally grabbed the goal they had been searching for in the second half when Mathiane scored with a header to hand Arrows a 2-1 lead.

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The goal did not deter the visitors, who upped the tempo in the closing stages and they were also awarded a penalty after Ntuli was fought down in the box by Mathiane.

Ntuli dusted himself down and converted the spot-kick for his third goal in two competitive matches to ensure that the KwaZulu-Natal Derby ended in a 2-2 draw.

The draw left AmaZulu placed 13th on the league standings ahead of their clash with Baroka FC on Saturday, while Arrows, who are placed seventh on the log, will face Sekhukhune United on the same day.