thanda hold all the aces

HEADS UP: Thanda Royal Zulu's Setjhaba Mmuso clears the ball from Mpumalanga Black Aces's Madoda Motha during the First Division playoffs final first leg atAckerville Stadium in Lyneville yesterday.Pic: VELI NHLAPO. 31/05/2009. © Sowetan
HEADS UP: Thanda Royal Zulu's Setjhaba Mmuso clears the ball from Mpumalanga Black Aces's Madoda Motha during the First Division playoffs final first leg atAckerville Stadium in Lyneville yesterday.Pic: VELI NHLAPO. 31/05/2009. © Sowetan

IT IS advantage Thanda Royal Zulu after they not only held Mpumalanga Black Aces but managed to prevail over a hostile home crowd in the first leg of National First Division play-offs final yesterday.

IT IS advantage Thanda Royal Zulu after they not only held Mpumalanga Black Aces but managed to prevail over a hostile home crowd in the first leg of National First Division play-offs final yesterday.

But Thanda will have to avoid conceding a goal because a scoring draw in the second leg would mean AmaZayoni, as Aces are known, will join Jomo Cosmos as the new boys when the PSL kicks off in August.

Buoyed by a passionate home crowd at the Ackerville Stadium yesterday, Aces caused coach Sammy Troughton a few grey hairs as they missed numerous goal-scoring opportunities that would have made them favourites going into the second leg on Sunday.

Setjhaba Mmuso and Lindokuhle Mbatha, who were the main culprits, should hang their heads in shame should Aces fail to win promotion.

Amabhubesi goalkeeper Aubrey Mathibe will earn a special place in Thanda folklore should his side make it through after a series of splendid saves kept hope alive for the Durban side.

In the 64th minute, Mathibe palmed away a curling shot from the industrious Jacob "Dukes" Machaka.

The same cannot be said for his teammates such as Nkosinathi Nhleko who failed to show the necessary urgency in front of goal.

The two sides will meet in the second leg match at SJ Smith Stadium in Durban on Sunday.

l In Soweto, Orlando Pirates reclaimed the Nike Manchester United Premier Cup after beating 2008 champions SuperSport United 1-0 in the final at the Safa Soweto Stadium yesterday, reports Ramatsiyi Moholoa.

The young Buccaneers, coached by Sibusiso Masoka, will now represent South Africa at the international tournament in Manchester in August.

Ngubo Sakhele scored the only goal of the match.

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