Royal AM strengthened their bid for CAF Champions League football with a 2-0 victory over Marumo Gallants at Chatsworth Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Victor Letsoalo opened the scoring on the half-hour mark and Lesego Manganyi struck 10 minutes into the second half to register his first goal of the season for John Maduka’s side, which sealed their fourth win in five DStv Premiership games.
Letsoalo took his tally for the campaign to 14 goals and he trails Mamelodi Sundowns striker Peter Shalulile by just one in the race for the Lesley Manyathela Golden Boot, while Thwihli Thwahla moved within eight points of the league leaders ahead of their clash with Swallows later in the evening.
It was a second consecutive defeat for Bahlabane Ba Ntwa, who remain unmoved in 11th place on 29 points, two shy of breaking into the top half of the table.
The Durban-based club came into the match one point clear of third-placed Kaizer Chiefs in their battle for a top-two finish in the league and were looking to beat Gallants for the first time after playing out to a 2-2 draw in the reverse fixture on 19 October.
The visitors kept them at bay for the opening 29 minutes before conceding a penalty that was dispatched by Letsoalo down the middle after Washington Arubi committed himself early.
Royal took their one-goal advantage into the break and they didn’t have to wait long to breach Arubi’s goal again as Manganyi headed home a cross from Ndumiso Mabena in the 55th minute.
Gallants head coach Dan Malesela threw on Sede Dion for Sibusiso Kumalo in the 66th minute in the hope of changing the outcome and he made a further three substitutions in the closing stages, although they didn’t have the desired effect as the home team picked up a vital three points.
Royal AM (1) 2 (Letsoalo 30′ PEN, Manganyi 55′)
Marumo Gallants 0
Royal AM:P. Nyame, L. Manganyi, S. Kobedi (T. Potsane 75′), R. Nascimento, Z. Mkhize, K. Mahlasela (S. Matjila 85′), L. Phalane (T. Lingwati 75′), T. Matlaba, N. Mabena (M. Thikazi 67′), M. Macuphu, V. Letsoalo (E. Pelembe 85′).
Marumo Gallants:W. Arubi, M. Mvelase, T. Gumede, L. Nonyane, L. Mabotja (S. Sibeko 78′), S. Kumalo (S. Dion 66′), J. Malongoane, C. Ngema (A. Nkili 88′), P. Ndlondlo, L. Lamola (T Mnyamane 78′), K. Otladisa. ©Backpage TXT