AmaZulu survive relegation despite Highlands draw

Lehlohonolo Majoro © Gallo Images

Highlands Park fought back to hold AmaZulu FC to a 1-1 draw in an Absa Premiership match at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

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The draw saw Highlands Park finish ninth on the league standings, while AmaZulu survived relegation after finishing 13th on the log.

Usuthu launched early attacks as they searched for a goal which would have unsettled the Lions of the North's defence.

Siphesihle Maduna, who had netted his maiden goal of the season in midweek against Stellenbosch FC, was looking lively for the home side.

The 20-year-old attacking midfielder was involved as the KwaZulu-Natal giants broke the deadlock two minutes before the half-hour mark.

Maduna curled the ball to Siphelele Magubane, who made no mistake as he beat Tapuwa Kapini in the Highlands Park goal-posts to make it 1-0 to AmaZulu.

However, the hosts suffered a blow when Magubane went down injured and the goalscorer had to be replaced by Talent Chawapiwa.

The visitors pushed for the equalizing goal with the half-time break fast approaching, but AmaZulu stood firm at the back and they were leading 1-0 at the interval. 

Musa Nyatama and Mokete Mogaila were introduced by Highlands coach Owen Da Gama at the beginning of the second-half.

However, Usuthu continued to attack and they nearly doubled their lead after their two centre forwards Lehlohonolo Majoro and Bonginkosi Ntuli combined.

Majoro set-up Ntuli, who unleashed a shot which was brilliantly saved by experienced Zimbabwean goalkeeper Kapini just after the hour-mark.

However, the momentum was with Highlands in the closing stages of the match and they managed to grab a late equalizing goal.

It was Peter Shalulile, who netted his 16th league goal of the season in the 90th minute and the goal ensured that the match ended in a 1-1 draw with AmaZulu and Highlands sharing the spoils.

Shalulile will share the Absa Premiership Golden Boot award with Orlando Pirates striker Frank Mhango, who also netted 16 goals.

AmaZulu (1) 1 (Maduna 28')
Highlands (0) 1 (Shalulile 90')

AmaZulu: Mbatha, M. Gumede, Xoki, Booysen, Mabiliso, Maduna (Masilela 62'), Sithebe, Ncube, Magubane (Chawapiwa 37') Majoro, Ntuli (Sikhakhane 76').

Highlands: Kapini, Makhaula (Mbunjana 62'), Rae, Fransman, Mbhele (Letsholonyane 72'), Mzava, Munyai (Mokoena 62'), Shalulile, Jooste (Mogaila 46'), Motlafi (Nyatama 46).