Golden Arrows ended their losing run in the DStv Premiership after edging Marumo Gallants 3-2 on Wednesday evening.
Result: Golden Arrows 3-2 Marumo Gallants FC
Date: 25 January 2023
Venue: Princess Magogo Stadium
Arrows were without Gladwin Shitolo as Siyavuya Ndlovu was recalled. Gallants, meanwhile, were unchanged from the side that drew with AmaZulu.
Abafana Bes'thende started brightly with a high press but they could not captalize on their chances and the visitors quickly gained confidence, fancying their opportunities as well.
However, after the sides went back and forth, the hosts carved the first opening on the half-hour mark after Sicelokuhle Hlatshwayo was well setup by Pule Mmodi but had crack at goal that was smothered by goalkeeper Washington Arubi.
The game opened up towards the interval, with the sides showing sense of urgency and Dan Malesela's charges were awarded a penalty eight minutes before half-time after Divine Lunga brought down Katlego Otladisa in the box.
Celimpilo Ngema had his initial spot-kick for Bahlabane Ba Ntwa saved by shot-stopper Sifiso Mlungwana but he reacted the quickest to the rebound and headed home the opening goal.
Arrows put Gallants under pressure from the first whistle in the second stanza and Nqobeko Dlamini levelled matters eight minutes later with a strike from close range after he was teed up by Knox Mutizwa from a set-piece situation.
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The home side did not allow the Limpopo side to settle, as Pule Mmodi restored the lead on the hour-mark after Mutizwa did all the work again before he offloaded the decisive pass.
Gallants were vulnerable on transitions and were punished with 18 minutes remaining, as Mutizwa finally got his name on the scoresheet for Arrows with a strike into the top corner against the run of play.
Malesela looked to turn the game around with attacking changes soon thereafter, as Judas Moseamedi and Lesiba Nku entered the fray.
The changes by Gallants did the trick, as Chivaviro reduced the deficit to 3-2 in the last 13 minutes with a finish at the back post from a corner situation.
Malesela's troops had the momentum in the dying minutes, showing more urgency going forward but Arrows also carried a threat on transitions and did not make it easy for Gallants, as they held on halt their two-game losing streak.
Abafana Bes'thende jumped up to ninth on the log while Bahlabane Ba Ntwa remain rooted at the bottom of the log.
Here's how they lined up:
Golden Arrows: 36. Mlungwana, 3. Lunga, 22. Hlatshwayo, 37. Ndlovu, 35. Mantshiyane, 11. Sibiya, 23. Dube, 18. Mutizwa, 13. Mmodi, 8. Makhubela, 24. Dlamini
Subs: 28. Mbatha, 27. Nxadi, 2. Gumbi, 4. Khumalo, 25. Nkosi, 7. Magawana, 12. Ndwandwe, 26. Magubane
Marumo Gallants: 36. Arubi, 2. Nkili, 5. Mabotja, 15. Mphambaniso, 24. Mvelase, 21. Molangone, 18. Nonyane, 10. Ngema, 8. Chivaviro, 45. Toure, 11. Otladisa
Subs: 16. Watenga, 12. Khiba, 32. Makudubela, 28. Nkomo, 34. Pheko, 7. Nku, 33. Moseamedi, 23. Mdlinzo, 17. Mohomi
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