Royal AM down Arrows in KZN Derby

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DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - OCTOBER 25: Lesvin Stoffels of Royal AM celebrates scoring during the DStv Premiership match between Royal AM and Golden Arrows at Chatsworth Stadium on October 25, 2022 in Durban, South Africa. (Photo by Darren Stewart/Gallo Images)
DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - OCTOBER 25: Lesvin Stoffels of Royal AM celebrates scoring during the DStv Premiership match between Royal AM and Golden Arrows at Chatsworth Stadium on October 25, 2022 in Durban, South Africa. (Photo by Darren Stewart/Gallo Images)

Royal AM registered a 3-1 victory over Golden Arrows the DStv Premiership action on Tuesday evening.

Veteran Thabo Matlaba, Mfundo Thikazi, Lesvin Stoffels and Ruzaigh Gamildien came in as Royal AM’s changes, with Knox Mutizwa and Sifiso Mlungwana returning for Arrows.

Thwihli Thwahla registered the opening goal on six minutes after Nascimento rose high and knocked a free-kick from Thikazi to the far post of the area where Stoffels pounced and side-footed home.

Royal AM oozed confidence following the breakthrough and very nearly got a second when Gamildien burst through the area to go one-on-one with Mlungwana, but the Arrows goalkeeper parried for a corner-kick.

Arrows gathered momentum and levelled with 12 minutes to halftime after Sbonelo Cele played a few combination passes from deep and charged into the area to finish off the self-same move.

Thwihli Thwahla restored the lead three minutes before the break where a first-time pass from Elias Pelembe slipped Gamildien through and he profited from point-blank range.

Abafana Besthende turned focus to the bench ahead of the second half and in came Siyabonga Khumalo for Lungelo Dube and Divine Lunga for the returning Mutizwa.

The visiting team provided more purpose following the break where balls from Khumalo, Nduduzo Sibiya and Velemseni Ndwandwe unsettled Khabo Zondo’s men.

Arrows were presented a clear chance to draw level after Matlaba give away a penalty following a hand-ball, but Sibiya had the subsequent spot-kick saved by Xolani Ngcobo.

It was also the Ngcobo’s last contribution this as an injury pull saw him forced off the field and former South African under-23 goalkeeper Mondli Mpoto filled in.

Royal AM made the points safe two minutes from time where a neat one-touch move on the right resulted in a cross which Motebang Sera snatched and tucked into the roof of the net.

The host could’ve had more from a few moves on the counter-attack before Mpoto parried Ryan Moon’s close-range shot thus the match concluded.

Confirmed line-ups

Royal AM: Ngcobo, Rikhotso, Gamildien, Thikazi, Kobedi, Pelembe, Nascimento, Matlaba, Stoffels, Msomi, Lingwati

Subs: Mpoto, de Jong, Macuphu, Mogaila, Sikakane, Ncobeni, Phalane, Sera, Kumalo

Arrows: Mlungwana, Cele, Mutizwa, Nxadi, Ndlovu, Sibiya, Ndwandwe, Mmodi, Zuke©, Dube, Dlamini

Subs: Mbatha, Mjengu, Shitolo, Mantshiyane, Gumbi, Khumalo, Lunga, Nkosi, Moon

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