CITY WIN THRILLER TO BECOME FIRST TO BEAT ARROWS

Cape Town City have become the first team to defeat Golden Arrows in the DStv Premiership this season, claiming a thrilling 4-2 win at Cape Town Stadium on Sunday.

The Citizens ended Abafana Bes’thende’s unbeaten start at 11 matches, thanks to goals from Craig Martin, Taariq Fielies, Mduduzi Mdantsane and Fagrie Lakay, and also move to fourth place on the log – just five points from the summit. The Durban side drop to sixth in the log, a further three points back.

City started strongly and nearly claimed a fourth-minute lead when Thato Mokeke’s deflected shot looped toward the top corner, but Arrows goalkeeper Sifiso Mlungwana made an excellent save to claw the ball away.

Yet the ‘keeper was helpless to prevent a Citizens goal in the 14th minute: a triangle of passes ended with Thabo Nodada lobbing a ball through for Craig Martin, who headed past one defender before shooting low into the bottom corner of the net for 1-0.

Abafana Bes’thende suffered a further blow when they were forced into an unplanned substitution, with the injured Gladwin Shitolo making way for Lindokuhle Mtshali a couple of minutes before the half-hour mark.

Yet the Durban side struck on 35 minutes to level the game at 1-1. A Knox Mutizwa free kick was headed down by Trevor Mathiane and stabbed home from close range by Velemseni Ndwandwe, with City’s defence helpless to prevent the equaliser.

The final chance of the first half saw Mlungwana deny Fagrie Lakay in injury time to ensure the game went to the interval locked at 1-1.

The second stanza opened with a penalty for Arrows, as Taariq Fielies pulled back Mutizwa in the 18-yard area. The Zimbabwean converted the spot kick himself – his first league goal of the season – to put the visiting team 2-1 up in the 49th minute.

Fielies atoned for giving away the penalty with a fine equaliser in the 62nd minute. The City defender arrived late in the danger area to meet Bradley Ralani’s corner kick and power home a well-placed header for 2-2.

The see-saw battle should have seen Arrows reclaim the lead on 73 minutes when Mutizwa went through on goal and had only the ‘keeper to beat, but City’s Peter Leeuwenburgh came off his line quickly and made a fine block with his body.

Instead it was City who netted the fifth goal two minutes later: Mokeke’s pass just about got through the backline and Mduduzi Mdantsane latched onto it, before the rounding the goalkeeper and stroking into an empty net for a 3-2 lead.

The Citizens clinched all three points when they netted their fourth goal on 85 minutes. Lakay showed tremendous endeavour and hunger to chase down a seemingly hopeless long ball and succeeded in beating both goalkeeper and defender, lobbing an effort into the empty net to make it 4-2.

The teams will return to DStv Premiership action next weekend, with Arrows hosting Maritzburg United on Saturday 30 January and City visiting Baroka FC the following day.

Cape Town City (1) 4 (Martin 14’, Fielies 62’, Mdantsane 75’, Lakay 85’)

Golden Arrows (1) 2 (Ndwandwe 35’, Mutizwa 49’ pen)

City: Leeuwenburgh, Martin, Fielies, Cupido, Mashego, Mokeke, Mdantsane, Nodada, Ralani, Shonga (Makola 55’), Lakay (Morris 90+2’)

Arrows: Mlungwana, M. Dube, Sibisi, Mathiane, Lunga, Parusnath, Shitolo (Mtshali 28’), Mmodi (Sibiya 84’), Makhubela (Gumede 78’), Ndwandwe, Mutizwa

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