Marumo and Arrows in stalemate

Marumo Gallants and Golden Arrows shared the spoils in their DStv Premiership match at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday afternoon, playing out a 1-1 draw after goals from Celimpilo Ngema and Velemseni Ndwandwe.

The result sees Abafana Bes’thende register their first point of the season and rise off the foot of the table (with Cape Town City dropping to 16th), while Bahlabane Ba Ntwa have now drawn all three of their league games in 2022-23 thus far.

The teams attacked end-to-end in the frantic early stages, with Sibusiso Sibeko especially lively for Gallants, while Arrows’ Pule Mmodi sent an effort just wide of goal with only six minutes on the clock. The visitors had another early chance on 11 minutes when some fine team play saw Ryan Moon tee up Andile Fikizolo, who then struck wide of the mark with only Gallants goalkeeper Washington Arubi to beat.

The hosts’ ‘keeper saw his palms stung by Fikizolo a few minutes later, as Abafana Bes’thende kept up the attacking pressure, though Marumo held a threat on the counter and Sede Dion was only denied by a last-ditch tackle as the midway point of the first half approached.

On 25 minutes another counter from the home side ended with Celimpilo Ngema shooting on goal, only to be denied by an excellent save from Nkosingiphile Gumede far off his line.

The chances continued to flow through the remainder of the first half, though the interval arrived with the score still locked at 0-0. Bahlabane Ba Ntwa also suffered an injury blow, as defender Ayanda Nkili succumbed to a knock and was replaced by Sicelokuhle Hlatshwayo.

The start of the second half saw Arrows shuffle their pack in attack as Knox Mutizwa made way for Velemseni Ndwandwe, yet it was Gallants who finally claimed the lead on 56 minutes.

Ngema found himself in a fine shooting position but saw his initial effort blocked – the midfielder followed up for a second chance and managed to squeeze it through a small gap in the Arrows defence to hit the back of the net.

The hosts’ looked to be in charge of the game after taking the lead, but they were pegged back on 71 minutes when Arrows equalised: Ntsikelelo Nxadi provided a cross and Ndwandwe headed home at the far post for 1-1.

The equaliser gave the Durban side the momentum, and they neatly claimed the lead on 82 minutes, as Pule Mmodi was denied one-on-one by Arubi, before Siyabonga Khumalo struck the post with a follow up effort.

Mmodi and Arubi reprised their personal duel again in the penultimate minute of regulation time, with Gallants goalkeeper again coming out on top to ensure the match ended in a 1-1 draw.

The teams will return to DStv Premiership action next weekend, with Arrows hosting TS Galaxy and Gallants visiting Royal AM on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 August respectively.

Marumo Gallants (0) 1 (Ngema 56’)
Golden Arrows (0) 1 (Ndwandwe 71’)

Gallants: Arubi, Khiba, Gumede, Nkili (Hlatshwayo 28’), Ravhuhali, Khumalo, Sibeko (Lesiba 66’), Ngema, Ndlondlo, Otladisa, Dion (Koapeng 70’)

Arrows: N. Gumede, Mhlongo, Nxadi, Zuke, Lunga, Dlamini, Dube (Khumalo 66’), Fikizolo (Magawana 66’), Mmodi, Moon (Cele 87’), Mutizwa (Ndwandwe 46’)