Yawela Mbuthuma scored the only goal as Richards Bay moved to the top of the PSL table following a 1-0 victory over 10-man Sekhukhune United at the King Goodwill Zwelithini Stadium on Saturday.
The match was initially delayed due to a floodlight failure but after starting, both sides took the game to each other before the hosts had Somila Ntsundwana stretchered off and replaced by new signing Yawela Mbuthuma.
After a goalless first half, Sekhukhune were reduced to 10 men when Tashreeq Morris received a second yellow card for a high boot.
Richards Bay used their numerical advantage to push more men forward and got their reward 12 minutes from time when Mbuthuma broke the deadlock after completing a swift counter-attacking move.
Victory pushed Richards Bay top of the table with seven points following their 2-0 win over Golden Arrows and a barren draw against Marumo Gallants with AmaZulu occupying second place with as many points following their 2-1 win over Cape Town City.
AmaZulu maintained their unbeaten record as they came from behind after going down to Khanyisa Mayo’s 36th minute goal with Nigerian forward Augustine Chidi levelling matters three minutes from time after being put through by George Maluleka.
Seven minutes after the break, Gabadinho Mhango continued his rich vein of form when he scored the second for AmaZulu, Keagan Buchanan the provider this time, and they held on to claim all three points as winless Cape Town City remain rooted at the bottom of the table without a point.
The Mother City’s day also went from bad to worse after Mpho Makola received a red card in added time.
Meanwhile, Stellenbosch are fifth on the table after winning their first game of the season, 3-1 at home to Royal AM.
Steve Barker’s men, who had recorded a barren draw with Gallants before following it up with a 1-1 stalemate against Orlando Pirates, went ahead in the second minute after Antonio van Wyk headed in from a Junior Mendieta cross.
After ending the first half leading 1-0, Stellenbosch began the second on a bright note, extending their advantage four minutes later when Ricardo Nascimento deflected a Fawaaz Basadien free-kick into his own net before Oswin Andries added gloss on the score line with a third goal in the 64th minute from a Mendieta pass.
Andre de Jong pulled one back for Thwihli Thwahla seven minutes from time after Nascimento put him through.
Defeat ends Royal AM’s perfect start to the season following their victories over Kaizer Chiefs and Chippa United.
Elsewhere, Golden Arrows scored their first goal of the season at the third time of asking and also earned their maiden point following a 1-1 draw with Gallants.
In what was Gallants’ third straight stalemate, they went ahead after 56 minutes when Celimpilo Ngema got on the scoresheet but Arrows responded through substitute Velemseni Ndwandwe 20 minutes from time.
The draw at the Peter Mokaba Stadium leaves Arrows second from bottom with one point while Gallants are 10th on the table with three points from as many games.