AmaZulu's Memela slays 10-man Galaxy

AmaZulu FC © Backpagepix

AmaZulu FC secured their second win of the 2021/22 DStv Premiership season when they edged out TS Galaxy 1-0 at Mbombela Stadium on Tuesday evening.

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Luvuyo Memela's second-half strike earned Usuthu the win, which subsequently elevated the KwaZulu-Natal giants up to sixth place on the league standings, while the winless Rockets remained rooted to the bottom of the table. 

Usuthu were the better side in the opening exchanges with coach Benni McCarthy's troops whipping crosses into the opposition box for their big centre forward, Siphelele Mthembu.

Memela headed Siyethemba Sithebe's cross into Augustine Mulenga's path in the 11th minute and the Zambian winger beat goalkeeper Vasilije Kolak with a powerful shot, but the upright came to the hosts' rescue.

AmaZulu continued to control the match and Mthembu connected with a delightful cross from Sithebe, but Pogiso Sanoka made a crucial goal-line clearance with Kolak well beaten just after the half-hour mark.

Galaxy then contained AmaZulu until match referee Victor Hlungwani blew the half-time whistle. 

McCarthy introduced Bonginkosi Ntuli prior to the start of second-half and the bulky marksman was involved in the build-up to the only goal of the match, four minutes before the hour-mark.

Tercious Malepe cut inside after receiving a pass from Ntuli, before setting up Memela, who scored with a sublime curling shot to hand AmaZulu a 1-0 lead - making it two goals in as many domestic league games.

The Rockets tried to respond with a goal and Tshegofatso Nyama beat his marker before delivering a cross for Sinethemba Mngomezulu, whose header was cleared off the goal-line by Makhehlene Makhaula.

However, Galaxy were reduced to 10 players in the 71st minute after Sanoka, who is slowly building a reputation as a bad boy, was shown his second red card of the current season after making a reckless challenge on his marker.

Both teams created chances in the dying minutes of the game with an unmarked Ntuli missing a sitter, before Menzi Ndwandwe headed the ball straight into Veli Mothwa's hands at the other end, and ultimately, AmaZulu ran out 1-0 winners.

TS Galaxy 0
AmaZulu 1 (Memela 56')

TS GALAXY: Kolak, Sanoka, Makitan, Seedat, Mokoena, Nduli, Aubaas, Nyama (Mogaila 80'), Mbatha (Ndwandwe 85'), Macuphu, Mngomezulu (Mbunjana 73'). 

AMAZULU: Mothwa, Gumede, Malepe, Xoki, Khumalo (Mgwazela 46'), Mlambo (Buchanan 63'), Makhaula (Ekstein 77'), Mulenga (Sikhakhane 77'), Sithebe, Memela, Mthembu (Ntuli 46').