Arrows end winless run at City

Golden Arrows snapped a four-game losing streak in the Absa Premiership as they beat Polokwane City 2-1 at the old Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Saturday evening.

Abafana Bes’thende got back to winning ways the hard way, having to recover from conceding an early goal to Thobani Mncwango before Gladwin Shitolo and Rodney Ramagalela both found the back of the net to ease the pressure on coach Clinton Larsen.

Polokwane claimed the lead in just the seventh minute of the match. With Arrows pressing forward early on, a long ball out of the home side’s defence allowed Thobani Mncwango to race free of his marker and score with a well-placed volley past the right hand of goalkeeper Maximilian Mbaeva.

Mncwango almost made it 2-0 just past the half hour mark, showing great composure and movement in the box to control a low cross and move the ball beyond two defenders, but his low effort was well blocked by Mbaeva, who moved smartly off his line to close down the angle.

Arrows showed some promise in attack, but they had to wait until the 44th minute to restore parity. Siyabonga Dube provided a fine cross from the right flank to pick out the unmarked Gladwin Shitolo, who finished neatly with a glancing header to make it 1-1.

The Durban side should have claimed the lead on the hour mark, but Malawian debutant Frank Mhango was guilty of one of the misses of the season, somehow shooting wide from close range with the goal gaping following a great cross from Andile Fikizolo.

A quarter hour later Mhango missed another great chance, blazing the ball over from close range after a low cross from the left squeezed through the defence to see the striker faced with only the goalkeeper to beat.

Yet Abafana Bes’thende were soon rewarded for their persistence in attack. In the 78th minute Musa Bilankulu’s perfectly-weighted ball over the defender allowed substitute Rodney Ramagalela to place a low shot past George Chigova and put the visitors 2-1 up mere seconds after he had come off the bench.

Rise and Shine almost equalised in the 85th minute when Tsepo Tema got on the end of a corner kick and directed a header goalward, but Mbaeva made an excellent one-handed save to push the ball away to safety.

The result sees Arrows jump up to seventh place on the log on 24 points from 18 matches. Polokwane remain in 13th on 21 points from 19 matches.

Polokwane City (1) 1 (Mncwango 7’)
Golden Arrows (1) 2 (Shitolo 44’, Ramagalela 78’)

City: Chigova, Barends, Tshilo, Tema, Hlongwane, Langa (Tlolane 71’), Motumi (Mavundla 90’), Alexander, Jacobs, Mncwango, Nzimande (Jembula 58’)

Arrows: Mbaeva, Giuricich (Sikhakhane 57’), Zitha, Bilankulu, Fikizolo (Ramagalela 77’), Shitolo, S. Dube, N Cele, Hotto (Makudubela 70’), Mhango, Mahachi