Two goals on either side of the break saw TS Galaxy earn a runaway win over newly-promoted Richards Bay in the Premiership on Sunday.
Durban — TS Galaxy handed Richards Bay a sixth consecutive defeat in all competitions with a 4-0 hammering at Mbombela Stadium in Mbombela on Sunday.
The Rockets moved up five places to seventh spot on the Premiership standings and are now just a single point behind the Richards Bay, who occupy sixth.
The hosts weathered an early storm from the visitors, before being handed the opening goal by stand-in Richards Bay goalkeeper Neil Boshoff in the 24th minute.
Sphiwe Mahlangu was the lucky recipient of the gift, his tame shot from the edge of the box seemed to deceive Boshoff with the bounce, and the 27-year-old keeper never recovered as the ball bounced through his hands, handing TS Galaxy the early advantage.
𝗙𝘂𝗹𝗹𝗧𝗶𝗺𝗲 𝗦𝗰𝗼𝗿𝗲 #DStvPrem
— Richards Bay FC (@RichardsBayFC_) March 19, 2023
Sead Ramovic’s players found themselves in dreamland as they doubled their advantage two minutes later through winger Orebotse Mongae, who combined well with Mahlangu. The pair strung together a neat one-two to carve open the Richards Bay defence before Mongae curled his effort into the top corner from just inside the penalty box, to mount pressure on the visitors.
Richards Bay never seemed able to fight their way back after being at the receiving end of the first-half double whammy and conceded a third goal in the 54th minute.
TS Galaxy’s top scorer Djakaridja Traore grabbed his seventh goal of the season, controlling a Marks Munyai cross inside the box before slotting past an onrushing Boshoff before Mongae rounded off the scoring in added time.
An emotionally drained Richards Bay began life without their inspirational captain Siphamandla Mtolo following a tough 12 days of grieving. The KwaZulu-Natal-based outfit also set out to end their torrid run of four successive Premiership losses and look good in the opening 15 minutes, by creating the better chances.
Luvuyo Memela, however, was the guilty party as he wasted a wonderful opportunity to put the visitors in front after Yanela Mbuthuma had done well to set him up in the 14th minute.
The veteran winger needed to take his shot quickly as a swarm of TS Galaxy defenders closed in, but he blazed Mbuthuma’s low cross over the bar when it seemed harder to miss.
The first half saw both teams exchange authority of the game at various points with little separating them in terms of possession and chances created, but with TS Galaxy being the most clinical at the halfway mark.
With the pressure of being pulled out of the top eight looming, the Richards Bay bench sought to wrestle control of the match by introducing midfielder Ndiviwe Mdabuka for Kaketso Majadiboju at the beginning of the second half.
However, those efforts were in vain as TS Galaxy ran away convincing winners.