Royal AM beat ten-men Golden Arrows to book their place in the Nedbank cup quarter-finals
Durban — Royal AM rallied in the second half of extra-time to secure a hard fought 3-1 victory over Golden Arrows at the Princess Magogo Stadium in Durban on Saturday afternoon.
Thwihli Thwahla completed a hat-trick of victories in all competitions over ten-men Abafana Bes’thende booked their place in the last eight of the Nedbank Cup.
Royal AM made the brighter start of the two teams and were rewarded as Siya Mbatha fumbled Shaun Mogaila’s shot at goal before taking the attacker out in trying to regain a hold of the ball inside his box, and the referee pointed to the spot.
Experienced defender Ricardo Nascimento then stepped up and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way and gave the visitors the lead in the 33rd minute.
In-form striker Knox Mutizwa popped up like he always does for Arrows, scoring the equaliser in virtually the last kick of the game.
The Zimbabwean international combined with Pule Mmodi and then a one-two with Ryan Moon cut open the Royal AM defence and Mutizwa made no mistake, converting and sending the game to extra time.
Substitutes Sedwyn George and Levy Mashiane combined to give Thwihli Thwahla the lead once more in the second half of extra time.
George won possession of an Arrows defender and played a through ball for Mashiane who did well to speed past his defender, round one keeper and slot home with an empty net in the 110th minute.
Mashiane grabbed his brace in the 120th minute, capitalising once more off calamitous defending and sealed the victory for Thwihli Thwahla.
The speedy forward forced defender Ntsikelelo Nxadi into a back pass which he followed as well and goalkeeper Nkosingiphile Gumede’s attempted clearance ricocheted off him and into the net.
A place in the last eight of the Nedbank Cup was at stake as Abafana Bes’Thende welcomed a hugely improved Thwihli Thwahla in front of an expectant crowd in Kwamashu.
The hosts fielded a largely offensive starting 11 consisting of Knox Mutizwa, Mmodi and Velemseni Ndwandwe, surprisingly dropping captain Nduduzo Sibiya onto the bench.
John Maduka’s side seemed to be a level above a dysfunctional Arrows outfit as they played with more intensity, won the majority of 50/50 duels and restricted the home team to a few chances in the first stanza.
Royal AM appeared to be the side playing without any pressure as they already boasted a 100% winning record against their opponents.
The Arrows technical team threw on more of their calvary as Ryan Moon and Sibiya entered the fray in the place of Divine Lunga and Bongumusa Nkosi in the 63rd minute, looking to drag Arrows back into the contest.
Arrows threw at Royal AM until a moment of madness by goalkeeper Xolani Ngcobo almost handed the host an equaliser in stoppage time.
Ngcobo trekked out of his area and attempted to dribble an Arrows attacker who dispossessed him and after making his way into the box, his low cross was ballooned over by Mutizwa.
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