TTM down Eagles in promotion playoffs

Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila defeated Royal Eagles 2-1 in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) Promotional/Relegation playoffs match at the Thohoyandou Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The victory saw the Limpopo-based side join Eagles on three points with the two National First Division (NFD) teams left one match each, while PSL side Maritzburg United remain at the top of the table.

Tshakhuma got off to a flying start as Wonderboy Makhubu netted three minutes into the game to make it 1-0 to the hosts after winning the ball in midfield.

It was soon 2-0 to Tshakhuma a minute later as Onyedikachi Ononogbu set-up Ndabayithethwa Ndlondlo, who scored with a low shot after the Eagles defence was exposed.

The Eagles coach Siza Ngubane then introduced Diego Brown as the visitors looked to score at least two goals before the halftime break.

Eagles piled pressure on Tshakhuma and Brown's effort from a free-kick was well-saved by goalkeeper Tshepo Ramaele just after the half-hour mark.

Ramaele was a busy man as he denied Brown from another well taken free-kick as the shot-stopper kept the visitors at bay in the 43rd minute.

The hosts' defence was exposed just before halftime, but Ramaele came out and denied Brown from close range to ensure that the first-half ended with Tshakhuma leading 2-0.

Eagles pressed Tshakhuma after the restart and they managed to find the back of the net two minutes into the second-half.

Lesvin Stoffels delivered a quality cross into the hosts' box and Sonke Ntuli hit the back of the net with a header to make it 2-1 for the visitors.

Thembisani Nevhulamba was introduced by Tshakhuma coach Moma Medic as the the hosts looked to restore their two-goal lead.

However, Eagles continued to attack as they searched for at least two late goals in order to secure a victory.

Ramaele pulled off two late saves - denying Mbulelo Wambi from a free-kick, before saving Nkosivumile Zulu's effort from close range.

Ultimately, the match ended in a 2-1 victory in favour of Tshakhuma, who were able to contain Eagles in the closing stages of the encounter.

Tshakhuma (2) 2 (Makhubu 3', Ndlondlo 4')

Eagles (0) 1 (Ntuli 48')

Tshakhuma: Ramaela T, Meso P, Mabotja, Nyadomb C, Mohloding S (Mashau H 46'), Ndlondlo N, Makhubu W, Nkoana K, Msomi N (Nevhulamba T 60'), Mbanjwa M (Magaga N 77'), Ononogbu O.

Eagles: Nyame P, Mashiane L, Manganyi S, Cele P, Tau D (Brown D 30'), Nene M (Tshabalala S 47'), Wambi S, Bakah V, Shezi W, Stofells L (Zulu N 79'), Ntuli S.