The Brazilians unbeaten run of seventeen games ended after AmaZulu won 1-0 in Monday night’s DStv Premiership clash.
It was kick-off under the rainy weather conditions at Jonsson Kings Park Stadium, with both sides looking to get an early goal to settle into the encounter. Masandawana started well, controlling the game in the opening stages, Sphelele Mkhulise had the first opportunity to test Neil Boshoff of Usuthu, but let down as his shot went off target.
After a sequence of counter attack football from both sides, Downs Goalie Denis Onyango made an incredible save from Thabo Qalinge’s long range attempt that was on target. Bafana Ba Style’s attempt to find an opening goal continued with build up from the back, but the hosts defense was tight. Rivaldo Coetzee’s game was cut short before the half time break as the midfielder was taken off after a muscle pull that could not see him finish off the game.
Usuthu looked dangerous on the counter as the interval approached, racing into the Downs half off the back of their counter pressing, though they couldn’t fashion a chance as Masandawana regained position. A battle for possession took place heading into the break as both teams struggled to register a goal.
It was a bright start full of intent and ambition in the second half with AmaZulu set to test the Onyango, the Ugandan international goalie was prepared for the attempt from Thembela Sikhakhane.
The Brazilians were gathered around Usuthu’s defence, Pavol Safranko was next to go close, forcing a save from Boshoff after great build up play involving Peter Shalulile and Mkhulise. With just 15 minutes left on the clock, the hosts took the lead. Usuthu’s substitute Austin Mulenga found the back of the net after Luvuyo Memrla played a long ball which caught Downs defence off guard.
Bafana Ba Style looked for a route back into the game with just over 10 minutes remaining and were nearly handed a lifeline from a set piece. Lyle Lakay stepped up and connected the ball to the far post with Shalulile waiting, but an intercept ended the attack. The Brazilians were in search of an equalizer, however there was less fortune for the defending Champions as the referee blew the whistle for full time after multiple attempts by the visitors to share the spoils.
This is how we lined up: D. Onyango, A. Jali, T. Zwane, P. Safranko, L. Lakay, R.Coetzee (23′ Mvala), R. De Reuck, T. Morena, P. Shalulile, R. Nascimento, S. Mkhulise (75′ Maema)
R. Goss, M. Mvala, B. Onyango, L. Kapinga,N. Maema A. Modiba, S.Vilakazi, G. Maluleka, S. Ngobeni.