Home Sport Royal AM in impressive win over AmaZulu

Royal AM in impressive win over AmaZulu

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Royal AM climbed into the top eight into fifth and revived their hope of CAF competitions qualification, while Usuthu dropped to 11th on the DStv premiership log.

Thabo Matlaba of Royal AM challenges Lehlohonolo Majoro of AmaZulu FC during DStv Premiership match at Chatsworth Stadium
Thabo Matlaba of Royal AM challenges Lehlohonolo Majoro of AmaZulu FC during DStv Premiership match on 8 January 2022 at Chatsworth Stadium. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Johannesburg – Goals by Motebang Sera and Mxolisi Macuphu helped Royal AM claim the bragging rights in the KZN Derby with a 2-0 victory over AmaZulu at the Chatsworth Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Royal AM climbed into the top eight slotting into fifth spot and revived their hope of CAF competitions qualification, while Usuthu dropped to 11th on the DStv premiership log.

Sera, who was making his first start in six matches, answered the call when he grabbed the opener for the home side through a set piece in the 12th minute.

Elias Pelembe, who was also earning a rare start, delivered a pinpoint cross into the box and Sera lost his marker and leaped above everyone to slot into the bottom corner with a well-placed header.

With AmaZulu bombing forward searching for an equaliser, Royal AM pounced on the counter attack and doubled their advantage through the combination of second-half substitutes, Menzi Masuku and Mxolisi Macuphu.

Masuku found room on the right-hand side and did well to compose himself before drilling a low cross towards Macuphu who obliged from close range.

The two sides headed into this encounter only separated by a single point with Usuthu occupying the ninth spot and Thwihli Thwahla in 12th, both with an opportunity to climb up to as high as fifth with victory.

Royal AM head coach Abram Nteo opted for massive alterations upfront with Sera and Pelembe partnered up in attack with the two big hitters in Macuphu and Ruzaigh Gamildien relegated to the bench.

The achilles heel for both outfits had been their poor return in goal-scoring which justified Usuthu coach Romain Folz’s decision to hand Pule Ekstein a second start of the season alongside Gabadinho Mhango.

Folz’s AmaZulu side has recently had questions posed to them regarding their aggression and temperament and it continued in this match as Royal AM’s best chances came through free-kicks around the penalty area.

While Royal AM stifled the visitors in the opening 20 minutes, Usuthu seemed to get woken up by going a goal down early and enjoyed more possession for the rest of the encounter but without much penetration.

Requiring pace and potency, Folz introduced Lehlohonolo Majoro and Thabo Qalinge during the half-time interval as Usuthu sought to mount a comeback.

The pressure of recent results against Royal AM weighed heavily on the shoulders of the Usuthu players having not won or scored against the Pietermaritzburg side since their inception.

The match was almost sealed with a moment of controversy as a Sera effort that bounced off the crossbar and out was adjudged to have crossed the goal line, however, following a brief discussion between the officials, the error was rectified and Usuthu could breathe a sigh of relief momentarily.

AmaZulu will have an opportunity to bounce back when they meet with Kaizer Chiefs in their fixture on Friday while another KZN Derby against Maritzburg United awaits Royal AM.

@ScribeSmiso

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