Veterans help sink AmaTuks

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

Experience helped AmaZulu to keep their status in the lucrative Premiership with a hard-earned 3-1 win over Pretoria University in Durban yesterday.

The win, at Princess Magogo Stadium, saw AmaZulu become the first club to bounce back after featuring in the National First Division Platinum playoffs.

The battle-scarred John "Shoes" Moshoeu, captain of Usuthu, and Dennis "Chesa Mpama" Lota, produced scintillating football.

The result was brilliant goals from each of them and a classy contribution by Lota to a third goal by Kagiso Senamela.

Lota scored in the 33rd minute after Moshoeu nodded the ball down to the Zambian, who headed the bouncing ball home powerfully. The hard-working Moshoeu made it 2-0 with a cleverly executed ground shot in the 52nd minute from a cross by Senamela.

The match was end to end stuff from the opening minutes though Usuthu found it difficult to open up the visitors' defence.

As early as the fifth minute, reliable Usuthu defender Belux Kasonga found himself unmarked in the AmaTuks box, but his shot was well saved by an alert Dominic Sithole.

Sithole was again the hero for the visitors four minutes later, saving well from Lucky Mzizi.

In the second half, Usuthu continued where they had left off in the first half. They were rewarded with Moshoeu's brilliant goal from nowhere.

AmaTuks should be commended for their efforts. They never gave up despite the pressure from Usuthu and they came close to an opener when George Maluleka forced a brilliant save from keeper Tshepo Motsoeneng in the 62nd minute.

Their never-say-die spirit finally paid off when they forced AmaZulu to defend and the pressure told on the usually reliable Martin Carelse, who put the ball in his own net as he tried to clear in the 68th minute.

But their joy was short-lived when veteran striker Lota took on several players before laying a pass to Senamela, who returns to Kaizer Chiefs with Lucky Mzizi after their loan spell ended yesterday.