CT City sink Royal AM with late winner

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CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - DECEMBER 30: Thabo Matlaba of Royal AM and Thamsanqa Mkhize of CTCFC during the DStv Premiership match between Cape Town City FC and Royal AM at DHL Stadium on December 30, 2022 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - DECEMBER 30: Thabo Matlaba of Royal AM and Thamsanqa Mkhize of CTCFC during the DStv Premiership match between Cape Town City FC and Royal AM at DHL Stadium on December 30, 2022 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)

Cape Town City ended the year on a winning note after snatching a 2-1 win over Royal AM in the DStv Premiership on Friday evening.

Nathan Fasika was not included in the squad, but City called on Keanu Cupido and gave Cameroonian Bertrand Mani his debut. Royal AM, meanwhile, had Hugo Nyame back in goal.

City were uncomfortable in the opening stages and nearly conceded off a loose ball in the box by Thamsanqa Mkhize, but a dramatic save from Darren Keet denied Kabelo Mahlasela.

This scare woke up the home team as Rhodes had Nyame at full stretch following a cross-cum shot from a tight angle well in the six-yard area.

The Citizens made their next move count nine minutes to halftime after debutant Mani drilled in the top corner from a tight angle as Nyame parried Darwin Gonzalez’ initial shot back in play.

Royal AM pulled level just before the break when Ruzaigh Gamildien found space in the centre of defence and headed in the bottom-corner following Mzwandile Dlamini’s delivery.

On-loan Lyle Lakay went close to restore City’s lead minutes in the second from a low teasing shot to the near post of the area after a corner, but Nyame collected.

The host pushed forward again and a high-press through the middle turned to a loose ball that allowed Gonzalez to step inside and worked Nyame to a strong save from a solid attempt.

Eric Tinkler called on reinforcements in the final 15 minutes, as Mani made way for Kajally Drammeh before Mduduzi Mdantsane slotted in for Rhodes.

Mdantsane’s entry proved key when he ran onto a ball in space in additional time and cutback for fellow substitute Thabo Nodada to turn home from a close-range.

The Citizens contained the closing seconds of the match and claimed the maximum points to move into to the top eight as AM finished 2022 on the losing side.

Confirmed line-ups:

Cape Town City: Keet, Mkhize, Cupido, Fielies, Lakay, Mokeke, Ambina, Rhodes, Mayo, Darwin, Mani

Subs: Mpandle, Bender, Kajally, Van Heerden, Mokhuoane, Makola, Daniels, Mdantsane, Nodada.

Royal AM: Nyame, Nascimento, Matlaba, Manganyi, Rikhotso, Mahlasela, Cele, Dlamini, Kobedi, Mogalia, Gamildien

Subs: Ngcobo, Potsane, Ndlovu, Lingwati, Mashiane, George, Pelembe, Msomi, De Jong

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