Golden Arrows have shot into second place on the DStv Premiership log after a 2-1 away win over Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Abafana Bes’thende find themselves just one point behind leaders Mamelodi Sundowns (having played three games more) after picking up a ninth win of the season.
Vhadau Vha Damani, meanwhile, see a three-game unbeaten run come to an end as they remain just four points above bottom-of-the-log Black Leopards.
Tshakhuma looked the more fluid and settled team early on, but Arrows created the first clear chance 10 minutes into the game: Knox Mutizwa teed up Nduduzo Sibiya, but the attacker’s effort failed to trouble goalkeeper Washington Arubi.
The match was soon paused for approximately 30 minutes due to lightning in the Polokwane area, resuming only when deemed safe for players and officials to return to the field – despite the presence of a heavy rainfall.
Arrows had the ball in the back of the net soon after resumption, with Sibiya converting from Ntsako Makhubela’s through-ball, but the flag was raised for offside.
Yet the Durban visitors had the bit between their teeth and took the lead in the 25th minute: Mthokozisi Dube’s cross was fumbled by Arubi, and Mutizwa was on hand to turn home the loose ball.
TTM looked to bring themselves back into the game, with Rhulani Manzini looking particularly dangerous, while Mutizwa had a one-on-one chance late in the half but failed to hit the target and missed the opportunity to see his side two goals up the break.
Tshakhuma fought back to level the game early in the second half, with an unmarked Alfred Ndengane turning home Thabo Mnyamane’s free kick delivery in the 48th minute.
The equaliser fired up the hosts, who began to exert pressure and force Arrows onto the back foot. Yet Abafana Bes’thende nearly reclaimed the lead against the run of play on 70 minutes when substitute Siboniso Conco brushed off a couple of challenges before firing on target, only for Arubi to make an excellent save.
Another chance for Arrows arrived in the 78th minute when Mtshali’s free kick picked out Siphamandla Sabelo, but he put his header off target. Yet the away side kept up the pressure and were rewarded with a penalty in the 85th minute.
Sabelo ran onto a Makhubela pass and was hauled down in the 18-yard area, with the referee pointing to the spot. Conco took on the responsibility of the penalty and fired a shot beyond Arubi to win the match 2-1.
Arrows are scheduled to return to DStv Premiership action on March 20 when they host Cape Town City, while Tshakhuma will be in action the following day away to AmaZulu.
Tshakhuma TM (0) 1 (Ndengane 48’)
Golden Arrows (1) 2 (Mutizwa 25’, Conco 86’ pen)
TSHAKHUMA: Arubi, Lukhubeni, Ndengane, Nonyane, Ravhuhali, Malongoane (Rakhale 73’), Manaka, Madhanga (Nevhulamba 88′), Ngema (Ngele 82’), Mnyamane (Rantie 82’), Manzini (Lamola 73’)
ARROWS: Mlungwana, M. Dube, Sibisi, Zuke, Lunga, Makhubela, Shitolo, Parusnath (Mtshali 67’), Sibiya (Mmodi 51’), Mutizwa (Conco 51’), Gumede (Sabelo 67’)